Category Archives: Uncategorized

Feminism

According to Witt, feminism is the belief in social, economic, and political equality for women. In words that are more simple, feminism is the belief that women should be treated in the same ways that men are treated. Women used to be known for staying home with the children, cooking, cleaning, and pretty much taking care of everything at home, while men went out and went to work every day, making a living for his family. Now since most women decide that they want to work and help with the household income, they don’t seem to be getting paid the same as men, even if they are doing the exact same kind of work. Men will almost always be paid more than women.

As a woman going to school and working, I fully support feminism. Granted, men can be good at some things, but women can also be better at some things that men are not very good at.

Emma Watson, best known for her role in the Harry Potter series as Hermione Granger, gave a speech not too long ago about “He for She”. Even though her speech was quite lengthy, she gave some good points. I have posted the link to the video if you would like to watch it.

This is a photo of women fighting for their right for equality. Women want to be treated the same as men, we are not less than them.

— Katie

 

 

 

 

Sex and Gender

When someone says sex or gender, usually the first thing that comes to mind is “girl and boy.” Although sex and gender may sound like they are the same thing, they are actually very different. In sociology, sex is defined as the biological differences between boys and girls. Gender is defined as the social and cultural significance that we attach to the biological differences of sex. When one thinks about a male, the words that usually come up are masculine, provider, protector, and so on. When one thinks about a female, words like feminine, soft, and emotional usually come to mind. But why is this? Why do we classify different genders with different ‘labels’? The answer is simple: society.

The society we live in is almost always in control of classifying what defines males and females. Society and the people that live in it can—unwillingly—determine how a boy should behave and how a girl should behave, which begins at birth. Baby boys are usually wrapped up in blue blankets when they are born and are given dark-colored clothing to wear. Baby girls are wrapped up in pink blankets and wear light-colored clothing. This is known as gender socialization. Boys usually wear dinosaurs or trucks on their shirts, whereas girls will most likely wear butterflies and hearts. If a young boy was wearing a pink shirt, people would stop and stare at the child as if there was something wrong with him. This is because it is not normal for a boy to wear such a “girly” shirt. The parents of the boy would most likely be frowned upon as well for allowing their son to wear that shirt.

The toys we buy our children also classify them with gender. We usually buy young boys violent things—like trucks and plastic weaponry—while we buy young girls less violent things—like tea sets and dolls—because that’s the “normal” thing to do. Seeing a boy play with a Barbie is considered deviant, which means it’s not normal for that society. The same goes for girls who play with monster trucks. The normal thing to see is boys roughhousing with other boys and girls having tea parties with other girls. We never expect to see a boy in a tea party, although it does happen, but there should be nothing wrong with that. We get so caught up in what we “think” are the normal behaviors that boys and girls need to obey, we overlook a simple question: what if we’re wrong? Children should be allowed to express themselves however they want. So, if a boy wants to wear a tutu, we should let him. If a girl wants to play football, we should let her. We need to stop forcing our kids to become what we think they should be and let them be who they want to be.

Unfortunately, gender classification doesn’t stop at childhood. Teens and adults are still categorized as being either boy or girl by society. However, as people grow, they are more socially obligated to adhere to the stereotypes that society has placed on them. A boy is only classified as a “man” if he is strong, aggressive, active, and dominant. Likewise, a girl is only classified as a “woman” is she is nurturing, kind, submissive, and emotional. A man who displays any stereotype classified to women would be labeled as a “girl” or a “wussy.” A woman who displays manly aspects would be labeled as a “tomboy” or a “lesbian.” There is no escaping these stereotypes. Men must act like “men”, and women must act like “women.” If someone steps out of these boundaries, he/she will be negatively labeled for his/her deviance.

Although both genders experience stereotypes, one thing is true: gender inequality exists. It’s true that both men and women must alter their lives so that society will accept them, but it’s harder for women. Women are still treated unequally to men. Now, it’s true that women have more equality than they did decades ago, but they’re still fighting to be treated equally. One way women are still unequal to men is income. Women—to this day in the USA—only make about seventy-seven cents to a man’s dollar. This is called the gender pay gap. Woman must also face the facts that men get more opportunities in jobs and education than they do. It’s not just up to women to fight for women’s rights. Men should also reach out and try to help women become more equal. Together, they can change the world for the better.

Another aspect of our lives that classifies us as people is our sexual orientation. Although the majority of the world is known as heterosexual—liking those of the opposite—some people classify as something else. Some people classify as homosexual, which means they are attracted to the same sex. Bisexuality is another one, which means they are attracted to both sexes. There are even people who claim to be transsexual, which is when someone has the body of one sex, but they claim to have the mind and soul of the other sex. Sexual orientation has a huge impact on how others see us. Those who classify as homosexual, bisexual, transsexual, or anything else that isn’t heterosexual are usually frowned upon. This is because they aren’t considered “normal” and people believe they should be negatively sanctioned for their lifestyle choice. People should not be classified as “immoral” for being a little different from everybody else. Everyone deserves to be treated equally. Nobody should be ashamed of who they are.

Considering everything above, sex and gender plays a huge role in who we are. But why do we let our sex and gender control us? Everyone should not be afraid to be who they are. We should be able to live our lives the way we see fit without getting the “stink eye” from bystanders. We must also try to bring more equality to the world. I know that there’s been movements to try and bring equality to the world, but just because some have failed doesn’t mean that we should give up. Equality is desperately needed in this world and we have the power to bring great change.

–Aaron

Cultural Capital

According to sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, cultural capital is our tastes, knowledge, attitudes, language, and ways of thinking that we exchange in interaction with others. We adapt to our certain cultural capital when we become a part of certain social classes and cultural groups. Almost everything that a person does is because of their cultural capital. What we wear, how we talk, where we live, what grocery stores we shop at, what we consider to be entertainment, are all a part of our cultural capital.

This concept of cultural capital relates heavily to our social classes. People of the upper class have different lifestyles and tastes than people of working or lower class. For example, people of the upper class are more likely to consider the opera or “black-tie parties” as entertainment than people of the working or lower class, who may enjoy NASCAR on television. Another example of this takes place in high schools. In high schools all over the United States, there are different social classes within each of them. For some schools, most of the students belong to the same social class, usually when the school is private or in a well-off area. But in most schools there is a little bit of everything. When there are different social classes in one school, there will be groups, or “cliques” that stick together because they share the same cultural capital. There may be a group of students that all hang out together because they live in the nice part of town, shop at expensive places and have nice cars. At the same time, there will be groups of students that hang out together because they all live in the poor area of town, they get their clothes from the same stores like Good Will, and don’t have cars but ride the bus together. People tend to associate and stick together with people in their social class because they share the same cultural capital and it makes it easier for them to interact sharing the same interests and hobbies.

Often times when dealing with cultural capital, stereotypes are involved. Stereotypes are unreliable generalizations about all members of a group that do not recognize individual differences within that group. It is very common for people to stereotype social classes other than their own. For example, people of the upper class often stereotype the lower class as being lazy, talking with uneducated slang, and being obese. Stereotypes cause problems between social classes and forces a bigger gap between them with negative thoughts on each other. People of certain social classes sometimes don’t do things only because they don’t want to be judged by their peers as someone of another social class. An example would be if someone of the upper class wanted to partake in an activity called “mudding” (people drive their trucks through the mud and get stuck) but didn’t because they would be judged as someone from the lower class by their friends and feel this would be negative due to stereotypes. This is the problem that comes along with cultural capital.

There are also some problems with cultural capital when social mobility occurs. Social mobility is when someone moves from one social class to another. The problem with this is that when someone joins a new social class, the cultural capital that they had with their old class now changes and they adopt new cultural capital. If someone originally from the working class gradually becomes a part of the upper class, they no longer have the lifestyle they once had. Often times, people struggle with the new change because they feel they don’t belong or are not accepted by the people in their new social class. For example, in the movie “People Like Us,” there was a woman who felt uncomfortable going to the upper class social gatherings because she was new to that lifestyle and wasn’t used to the etiquette rules and things like that. Although the people around her in the video seemed to be accepting of her, often times that is not the case. Also when social mobility occurs, the people who are a part of the social class that the person left behind often times feel betrayed because they “forget where they came from”. The person making the change feels unaccepted in either social class.

— Mackenzie

Witt, Jon. Soc 2014. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2014. Print.

Social Mobility

America is very well known as a social system in which the position of each individual is influenced by his or her achieved status (defined in Jon Witt’s Soc 2013 textbook) (“open system”). The United States is constructed of five social standings, which are all based on individuals economic ranking (upper, upper-middle, middle, working and under class). An interconnected concept is social mobility. So what are social mobility and stratification in reality? Social mobility is described by example below:

Starting with the most desirable; upward vertical mobility. Oprah Winfrey a famous entrepreneur accomplishes the dream of movement from poverty to upper class. As quoted in Good Reads, Oprah opines, “I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you”. It is obvious that holding the ascribed status of an African American woman in the sixties, created a great burden in social class movement for Oprah. The movement in economic class that Winfrey achieved is inspiring. Her mother had her as a teenager and had to look for work elsewhere. Until age six Oprah lived with her Grandmother. Suddenly her world took a twist and she was living in Milwaukee with her mother who worked long days as a housemaid. While her mother was away, she repeatedly was raped and abused by the men allowed in their apartment. Thankfully, at age fifteen, she was rescued by her disciplined father whom she is still thankful for. After all, the rules her father insisted on have paid off. Oprah became a successful teenager on the honor roll and even was nominated as Miss Black Tennessee Beauty. She went to college and studied performing arts and speech. Suddenly she began to receive many opportunities. After all of this, America adored Oprah which allowed her to create her own successful television show (“The Oprah Winfrey Show”). Quoted from the Academy of Achievement, “The business press measures her wealth in numerous superlatives: the highest-paid performer on television, the richest self-made woman in America, and the richest African-American of the 20th century”.

Yes, all of these are great achievements but there is no way to measure all of the humanitarian acts she has done over the years. If we look at Oprah’s life now, we could agree that she is successful according to the fact that she owns her own production of Television program and organizations of charity.  Oprah is upper class in all three ideas (class, status group and party). She is the wealthiest black woman in America, our population sees her as an inspiring, successful icon and she has many followers that agree with the goal she has for our world.

Moving from class to class is difficult in many ways. The people of the upper class tend to all participate in the same expensive activities and minimal opportunities. Looking back on Oprah Winfrey, one of the big steps in her mobility in social class was when she moved in with her father and finally had the opportunities with school, awards and the pageant she won. This created a different world of people and places besides the poverty she lived in before ending in a social class movement.

— Emily

Works Cited

Witt, Jon. Soc 2013. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2013. Print.

“Oprah Winfrey Quotes.” Good Reads. Good Reads Inc. 2014. Web. 29 Nov. 2014.

“Oprah Winfrey Biography” Academy of Achievement. American Academy of Achievement, 2014. Web. 2 Dec. 2014.

 

Social Inequality

Do you know what social inequality is? When it’s brought to your attention you most likely are thinking it means having unequal rights in society, which, in a way, you’re right! Social inequality is described as a condition in which members of society have different amounts of wealth, prestige, or power. You understand now? Let’s look at it this way, a boy who is raised around parents that are farmers versus a boy being raised around parents that are lawyers is most likely going to stay in or around that same “class” per say.  A child’s social class greatly affects his chance to go outside of the class he was born into. This affects the boy’s amount of wealth, prestige or power throughout his life.

Now you may be asking, what is social class.  Well, it’s a group of people with similar positions in society. Like the boys and their parents, in most cases, will be in the same class. In other words a maid and a janitor are in the same social class just as a dentist and an architect are. These two sets of examples of social classes are also forms of social inequality; one set makes a greater amount than the other set. With all this being said, I’d like you to know that just because one is raised in a certain class it is very possible for them to change classes, this is called social mobility.

Social mobility is when there is movement of individuals or groups from one position in society to another, this can happen positively or negatively, this is called vertical mobility. To give you a better understanding let’s say the maid is now a dentist and the architect is now a janitor. The maid has now experienced great vertical mobility while the architect has now experienced negative vertical mobility. Let’s just go into a little more depth, here’s a short story about Benjamin Franklin. Franklin’s father was a soap maker with 17 children to take care of, he wanted Benjamin to enter the clergy but could only afford one year of schooling and clergymen needed many years of schooling. Instead he had him apprenticed to his brother who was a printer and he ended up selling their work on the streets. After trying many times to show his work to his brother and others, he ran away looking for printers work, he failed greatly and even became homeless. Soon enough he finally got a printers job and started his own business and the citizens began to notice him. He began getting contracts to do government jobs and from then on business was booming. To this day we know him as drafting the Declaration of Independence and the face to the $100 bill. Benjamin Franklin is just one example of vertical mobility, social class and social mobility that ties into social inequality.

— Ryan

 

Cited Sources

“A Quick Biography of Benjamin Franklin.” The Electric Ben Franklin. USHistory.org, 4 July

  1. Web. 1 Dec. 2014. <http://www.ushistory.org/franklin/info/&gt;.

Witt, Jon. “Social Class.” SOC. 3rd ed. New York: McGraw Hill, 2014. 238. Print.

Witt, Jon. “Social Class.” SOC. 3rd ed. New York: McGraw Hill, 2014. 240-242. Print.

Social Construction of Gender

Walking into the room, the decorations, table arrangements, and certain food choices are all pink. Bright pink, light pink, hot pink, and a pink that nearly looks white. Pink everywhere. Looking around at this baby shower, it is very clearly indicated that it is for a baby girl soon to be born. Everything that could be colored pink had a variation of the color in it. But why pink? Why are girls associated with the color pink and not blue? These are called gender norms. Gender norms is a subtopic of the social construction of gender. The social construction of gender is the way people socially and culturally see gender and what they believe should be normal for that gender. Gender and sex have different definitions. Gender deals with the way one and society sees themselves, meanwhile sex is the biological differences. Amongst the social construction of gender are many subtopics that fall into the category such as  the colors associated with gender mentioned above.

More subtopics include:

  • Personality traits
  • Occupations
  • Weight and physical build of the person
  • Clothing the person wears

With the gender norms comes those who step outside those norms. Occupations and clothing type seem to be more deviated norms. Most women are seen as secretaries, nurses, or teachers, but looking around you see more women becoming construction workers, doctors, and firefighters. Most men are seen as construction workers, doctors, and firefighters but are stepping out of that workforce and doing more female normed occupations like becoming nurses and teachers. Clothing tends to have a distinct difference between gender, though with gender, people do wear other genders clothing. Its very typical to see a girl wearing basketball shorts instead of a skirt, especially on a college campus. It’s more comfortable. Guys on the other hand would be looked at weirdly if seen in a skirt. In today’s society, gender norms dealing with clothing are being broken, especially by females, but these are considerably turning into new gender norms.

But why are gender norms such a big deal? Why are men and women bound and tied down to certain things, producing this judgment when broken? What does it matter if a man or woman wants to dress differently?

These questions are answered purely on views of the person being asked. Some see a certain way for every person based on their sex and not their gender. Others do not have a strong opinion on people’s actions and believe that people should be allowed to do as they so chose to- which is what I believe in. People should be entitled to all of their rights, not judged if they actually use them how they so chose and within the law.

This brings up another dispute. Whether people who want to marry the same sex should be legal. Some people believe heterosexual couples are the only people who should allowed to be married. Which I believe is wrong, WHY CAN’T PEOPLE SEPARATE CHURCH AND STATE LIKE THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO!?! This subject infuriates me. Yes, people have a right to their own thoughts.   So be it. But states should not be able to not legalize gay marriages just because “the Bible says it’s wrong.”  Whether the person be homosexual, bisexual, pansexual/omnisexual or transgender, I believe they should be treated as someone who is heterosexual. Who says heterosexual is the okay thing? Oh wait, the Bible does…

In case you already do not know the differences between said sexual orientations:

  • “Homosexual: a medical definition for a person who is attracted to someone with the same gender (or, literally, biological sex) they have, this is considered an offensive/stigmatizing term by many members of the queer community.”
  • “Bisexual: a person who experiences sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction to people of their own gender as well as another gender.”
  • “Pansexual/Omnisexual: a person who experiences sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction for members of all gender identities/expressions.”
  • “Transgender: a blanket term used to describe all people who are not cisgender [what gender someone affiliates themself with even if it is not their sex].”  (Killerman).

 

“Maybe we should make “straight marriage” illegal. It doesn’t seem to have a very high success rate.”  -Adam Levine

 All in all, life is a big realm of different things. The social construction of gender holds a lot of stuff in it’s pockets. From norms and deviances, to who is perceived to do what and how our lives are suppose to be lived, many smaller and larger subjects can spur from this one subject. It can be surprising how much can come from something based off of what we are born with. Why does something so natural  become so restricting? Why are colors restricted to certain genders? My favorite color has been blue ever since I could pick a color. I was strongly criticized in elementary school by other girls and boys for liking a “boy color,” but I can tell you that it did not change my view point on that color. It is just a color, it is not going to determine my future nor should it differentiate how people view me.

— Alaina

 

Work Cited

Killermann, Sam. “Comprehensive List of LGBTQ+ Term Definitions | It’s Pronounced Metrosexual.” Its

Pronounced Metrosexual. DISQUS, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.

Sexism

Sexism In Our World Today

Sexism is an issue that has been around since the beginning of time. This is known as the ideology that claims one sex is superior to the other. It is more common that men see themselves superior to women. I read a few examples from a women’s blog called The Guardian, the first one is from a female soldier and it reads, “I had a fellow soldier say to me: “I don’t think women should be in the military but you’re a good soldier.”” This just shows how this man thinks only men are capable of defending their country. Another example I have is from a mathematician who stated that, “One day I found out that one of my colleagues would frequently check with a male colleague to verify whether what I had just said (about university regulations or department politics or whatever) was true. He never does this to any of our male colleagues (at the time I was the only woman here). This is the same guy who was on a hiring committee with me. When we received a letter of recommendation praising a female candidate, he told me “The writer obviously only wanted to promote women.”” By stating that, the man is pretty much saying that a woman wouldn’t ever get that kind of recognition on her own she had to be helped by someone who only wanted to promote women.

The concept of sexism can also be related to feminism, the glass ceiling concept, and gender pay gap. Feminism is the belief in social, economic, and political equality for women. It’s always joked about that women belong in the kitchen or that women were made to make babies and please their husband and men were made to work and provide for the family. Today people are starting 1to fight against this treatment of women and it is slowly starting to change, but probably women will never be thought to be equal to men because you can’t change the way everyone thinks. The concept of glass ceiling is basically an invisible barrier that blocks the promotion of a qualified individual in a work environment because of the individual’s gender, race, or ethnicity. An example of this is a man entering the teaching world and getting promoted to principal or superintendant after a short period of time when a woman could be doing the same job for many more years and she never gets promoted to a higher position. Lastly, the gender pay gap is related to sexism because it is the difference between the amount of money paid to women and men, often for the same work. Today, equal pay for women is still getting voted against. Even though women come to work the same amount of time as a man with the same job as her and she does the same amount of work as he does she still might get paid a few dollars less an hour than he does.

The issue of sexism causes many problems in society. It makes women feel inferior or even scared sometimes to be in public or in the work place because they are always the butt of a sexist joke. Also, women can go to work and bust their butt just to get paid less than the man in the cubicle next to her. Another problem is young girls are being taught that they need a man to take care of them and that they can’t do the same work as a man can. Sometimes it is often found that women who are successful and take charge are called a bitch or not well-liked and when a man does the same thing he is looked up to and considered powerful. Some solutions could be that women need to educate their children both boys and girls that everyone is created equal and that women can do just as much quality work as a man can. Also girls need to be taught to pursue their dreams and goals. A law for equal pay also needs to be passed in the near future.

To end this discussion I am going to tell a story that is short yet definitely passes the “so what” test.  My mother recently bought a house that needs every room in it redone completely. She has done all of the carpentry work on her own with a little help from my brother and I. As you can imagine she makes many trips to Home Depot, Menards, and Lowe’s. One time she needed to get things for the electrical work in the kitchen so she went to Home Depot to get what she needed. When she reached the correct lane she was approached by a male sales associate and he asked her “who are you buying this for anyway”. She said she couldn’t believe he approached her and said that. Not only that time but another time my mom was in the store the same associate approached her again and said “what are you looking for because certainly you’re not shopping for yourself.” Things like that are just unnecessary and make her not even want to shop at Home Depot anymore.

–Leah

SOCIAL ROLE

All societies in the world are socially stratified meaning wealth, power, and honor are unequally distributed among different groups. In other words all communities are separated into different social classes. The most frequently used basis for categorizing different forms of stratification systems is the way status is acquired.

In sociology social roles are expectations for the ways in which people are expected to behave in specific situations. These expectations are created and defined by the societies in which the people live. Different societies have dissimilar social roles. Role expectations include both actions and qualities.  For example, a teacher may be expected not only to deliver lectures, assign homework, and prepare examinations but also to be dedicated, concerned, and responsible.

We cannot talk about social role without explaining social status. According to sociologists, social status is the honor or prestige attached to one’s position in society.  It may also refer to a rank or position that one holds in a group. For example, we are all students in this class and each one of us is either a son or daughter of somebody. The position or rank of a person or group within the society can be determined in two ways. A person can earn their social status by their own achievements also known as achieved or attained status. Alternatively, a person can be placed in the position. This inherited position is known as ascribed status meaning they are predefined for an individual at birth. For example prince William of England will have many high expectations compare to any poor child born in England.

In modern societies like ours, occupation or job is usually thought of as the main determinant of status. Other factors such as ethnic group, religion, gender, voluntary associations and hobby can have an influence also. This achieved status is when people are placed on the stratification structure based on their individual merits; the most commonly used here in America is education. The amount and kind of education people attain determine the kinds of jobs they get. The kind of work people do is the main determinant of their income.  Therefore, one’s place within the stratification structure is determined by financial, academic or political success. The higher a person is in rank, the better off he is. Moreover, the education, occupation, and income of parents largely determine the kinds of advantages or disadvantages they create for their own children. These situations are the roots of social inequality we observe in every society. Based on that observation, the gap can only grow deeper and deeper with time. For example Blacks are substantially less well educated than Whites just because the parents of blacks are poorly educated themselves. The sharp difference between blacks and whites is the continuing legacy of slavery. For centuries whites could educate themselves, passing that huge advantage to their children while it was forbidden for blacks to get any kind of education.

In the United States of America, there is no difference in the opportunity given to both girls and boys to have access to education. After graduation comes the reality of the work world. In fact, according to Donald J. Treiman, a sociologist, at equal levels of education, women earn about 60 percent of what men earn. This is explained by the gender preference for men over women that prevails in the work place. Women’s potential seems to be undermined by their so called women to-do task. In fact, the work lives for many women are interrupted for childbearing. Consequently many corporations want to avoid the stress of training and hiring somebody else for her job to replace women whenever they have to be put on leave. Moreover when it comes to gender in American society, women and men are assigned predetermined cultural roles. Women assume the roles of mothers, housekeepers, and servants to their husbands and kids, while men are providers, protectors, and heads of the household. More and more, we see a change in society today regarding the gender roles. Indeed, in modern homes, husbands and wives work both outside of the house. Both are providers for their family and both do the housekeeping job for the well being of the all family.

Works cited

Treiman, Donald J. “Status Attainment.” Encyclopedia of Sociology. 2nd ed. Vol. 5. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2001. 3042-3049. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 13 Feb. 2013

ETHNOCENTRISM

In too many instances, most look at Blacks with harsh eyes, and whether they speak or are silent there are way too many doubtful thoughts racing through their mind. We, Blacks, may not be mind-readers but we already know what words and phrases are formulating through the minds of the “others” who don’t think it is quite possible for us to succeed…and sadly that might be true…but for only one reason…they have caused such blockage to occur.

One might ask who is the “they” that I speak of. “They” comes in many forms: people from other ethnic backgrounds, discrimination, stereotypes, government, justice system, educational system, and sometimes even our own. Why do they cause such blockage? It is because of their culture that has been embedded in them since birth or their condescending ways that have snowballed into a pile of self-worth and self-distinction. Things such as this create ethnocentrisms, the belief in the superiority in one’s ethnic group.

The outlook of being superior to blacks has gone on since we were brought to this country. And like John Mayer, we are waiting for the world to change, but I am sure his change doesn’t include blacks.  If Elvis Presley was featured in the song, his world wouldn’t include blacks either, because according to him only thing we could do for him is shine his shoes and we don’t want to stop blacks from doing that because everybody needs a good shoe shining!

“Yes we can!”

Instead we need the encouragement that Obama says best. But unfortunately this does not happen often, so our heart hums songs of overcoming, while are our actions involve ways that aren’t always that illegal. We are the true survivors of the fittest. With few of the resources one may need to make ends meet, we make change, not always good but we make things happen—despite the belittling from other ethnic groups.  And many may not believe this, but we want all our actions to be positive but this can’t happen if we are constantly ridiculed and not properly taught.

Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish and feed him for a lifetime.” 

Like most, we want the opportunity to grow into something healthy and beautiful. But, unfortunately this can’t happen if we are not given the right resources to make that happen. In our eyes, we are like foster children who, unfortunately, got stuck with some not so nice and caring foster parents who badly abuse us and gives us the leftovers of what they once had and no longer wants or temporarily have no need for—usually they receive benefit from doing so .  In order to keep such a superior stance, one or many must keep the inferior group down. Here is how “they” did it and here are some of the leftovers, these are not to help, but to keep us distracted and quiet: 1. A ball. 2. Some crack. 3. 28 days. 4. A Piggy bank. 5. A beat.

1. As a Black, if you can dribble or throw a ball, you are seen as Captain Save ‘em.  Blacks are scouted out because their skills. Because of this, many Black youth value system may differ from white youth. For instance asking a young black boy what he wants to be when he grows up; his response …a basketball player.

2.  THE CRACK EPIDEMIC scare was orchestrated by the media. They inhaled oxygen and exhaled carbon dixode, blowing on an ignited flame forming an urban fire killing, not trees, but people…a fire that began in the eighties but has grown more vicious today.  Crack served as the white savior to many Blacks. It was passed around urban areas heavily populated by Blacks. Not only were Blacks getting hooked, but they were dying, killing, landing in jail. Surburban areas, most populated by whites weren’t even hit with 10% of the blow back from urban areas.

3.  TGIF: THANK GOD IT’S FEBRUARY!  For 28 days—sometimes not even that amount—Black youth have the opportunity to learn bits and pieces and half truths about their race and culture. But for the rest of the school year, they learn of norms orchestrated by white society.

4. WELFARE. The code for poor Black people.  Thanks to the media and ignorance of way too many, TANF, commonly known as welfare, is seen to cover the lazy behinds of blacks that just don’t want to work. I see it is as a stumbling block that spoonfeeds Blacks and keeps minds in bondage from trying to succeed. Think about it. Yes, there are financial benefits from TANF, but not many opportunities to teach one how to “pull themselves up from their bootstraps” and become self-sufficient.

5.  MUSIC…From the beginning of time the ancestors of Blacks have used music to uplift their spirits. Passing each lyric down from one generation to the next. Now there is a new style of lyric and new form of lyric passing. In this new day, we have rap; a style that most use to promote their new shiny materials, while subconsciously belittling themselves….guess who again gets the top cut and first and last laugh.