Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pre-Reading Week 13

In my opinion, the connections between race and crime are all based on racial profiling. African Americans and other minorities have always been seen as more likely to become criminals. There has been a a great racial divide since slavery began, making white the superior race and every other race ranking somewhere below them on the social totem pole and this has carried on to society today. We can see this great divide in the incarceration rates. As shown in a bar graph by Prison Policy, the incarceration rates of white people compared to black people were more than quadruple the numbers. Minorities are more likely to become victims of racial profiling then white people are. But I don't believe that the incarceration rates are just solely based on racial profiling and racism. I, myself, am mixed. Japanese, Black, and White. So growing up I have been able to see the different environments that each race grows up in, the type of behavior the engage in, and how they choose to live their lives. Unfortunately enough all of my cousins on the black side of my family are either involved with drugs, selling drugs, involved with some type of gang, or has been to jail multiple times, as well as all being high school drop outs. But when they were arrested, they were not arrested "just because" there was definitely probably cause behind these arrests for one reason or another and I would definitely have to say that the main reason for the great racial divide in incarceration would have to do with environment. My father (who is African American) grew up in East Oakland, his mother was a prostitute, and his father was nowhere to be found. Soon he started dealing drugs and getting involved with the wrong people. While I was growing up he was constantly in jail. But one day he decided to change his environment. He moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, remarried, and now he owns his own business and has left his old ways behind. His brother on the other hand was the same way, and is still the same way, living in the same environment. I believe that it is more environment than anything because I do have other Family members that are African American, yet grew up in the suburbs as opposed to the projects who have grown up to live very fulfilling lives, becoming lawyers, doctors, and professional dancers.

Word Count: 407

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Post Reading - Week Twelve

Yes, Lupe Fiasco's video for "Bitch Bad" is definitely an example of music that attempts to be more critically conscious. Fiasco makes an analysis on hip hop music today and critiques on what he thinks needs to change in the industry. He chose to address the issue of the disrespect that is targeted towards women in the lyrics of many rap songs. Lupe is not sly about the message he is trying to get across and especially after making that video, his point was very clear. Although his critique may not have been given in the best way, this is definitely a step in the right direction. Some arguments that people made against this were that the men of hip hop, or the men that have this mentality were not looked down upon, but it was rather the ladies that listen to hip hop or respond to it in a positive way that were critiqued, and blamed in a way. So, yes it was definitely an attempt at making hip hop more conscious and I believe that is more hip hop artists put themselves in this mindset then a definite change could happen, but Fiasco cannot be the only one. The only problem with this is the fact that it probably won't happen in the near future, music such as Fiasco's "Bitch Bad" is not as popular as other hip hop songs out there today. I looked at the popularity bar for "Bitch Bad" on iTunes, and the downloading rates for that were extremely low compared to say "Bandz A Make Her Dance" by Juicy J, which is all about money and women. Something drastic has to happen, both men and women, artists and consumers alike have to make a decision that this is no longer okay and no longer what they want to base their music off of.

I believe that hip hop has placed more responsibility on itself to be socially responsible. The reason being is because, although other genres of music may "degrade" women and talk only about violence and money, these characteristics are more what hip hop is known for. They have created a image for themselves and now that is what they are known for, so in order to get away from these stereotypes they need to venture away from the "norm" of hip hop, such as Fiasco did in his video for "Bitch Bad. Hip hop is notoriously known for being degrading and materialistic, and with being one of the biggest and fastest growing genre of music they definitely have a large social responsibility.

Word Count 430

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pre-Reading Questions Week Eleven

I believe that Hip Hop is so popular because during the time that it came out, it was seen as extremely different and controversial, a different sound with intoxicating beats that brought people together. It was also something that was not seen as the norm which deterred some people from the genre, but as history has shown time and time again, the youth is attracted to things that are seen as controversial in society, and with Hip Hop and Rap becoming more and more controversial it has remained largely popular, and a huge attraction as far as music goes.

In Chris Rock's comedy bit he talks about how he is tired of defending rap music. He feels as though he needs to defend this genre of music because there are some hip hop/rap artists out there that make degrading and inappropriate music, thus causing the general public to not consider hip hop/rap music art. Because of the inappropriate nature of these songs he feels as though he needs to justify why he listens to it and why it should still be considered art which is tough in some situations. Rock talks about how hip hop/rap has seemingly gone downhill with time, listing off rappers in the past and comparing them with the rap music that comes out now. Rap and Hip Hop used to be mostly about telling a story and coming up with original beats to put behind the lyrics but now Rap music has become increasingly materialistic and degrading towards women, therefore making it harder to defend and to justify as "art".

Jay Smooth thinks that in order for Hip Hop to become healthy again, that both arguments stated in the video need to come together and acknowledge each other. If neither side chooses to hear the other side of the argument and accept it then no progress will be made and the argument will continue to go "in circles". The two arguments in the hip hop discussion are that one relies on an individuals decisions on whether they listen to and participate in the rap that is put out today, and the other argument is that it is a worldwide problem that people need to come together and fix.The flaws he finds in each argument is that, if it is a problem on a bigger scale, then people don't really take personal responsibility of it. Rather than looking at the bigger picture as well as looking at themselves, they would rather choose to look outwards rather than inwards. But if it is just an individual looking in on themselves than they tend to loose the bigger picture and don't look at the problem as a whole. There are bigger issues that need to be addressed and if they are not then the cycle will just continue onto each generation.

Word Count 473

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Post Reading Week Eight

-Some reasons that students are misdiagnosed with LD, ED, and MR could be because of language barriers, if a students first language is not english, and they are being tested on their knowledge in a language they do not know it can falsely determine their intelligence therefore making the teacher assume that they are not prepared to move onto the next level or need extra attention. Another reason kids can be misdiagnosed is because teachers could grow impatient with children at a young age and write them of as having LD, MR, or ED when really it is just because they want to move on with the class. Rather then stepping back and evaluating the different things that could be causing the disturbance with the child they go to the easiest route and diagnose them with whatever they feel is appropriate.

-I think that the fact that almost all LD's are determined by teachers leads for higher rates of LD's in children just because every child learns differently. Girls are often more subdued in class then boys are which could lead to more male students being diagnosed with LD's, also the language barrier for a child that does not have english as a first language could be particularly difficult because the teacher could assume that the child just doesn't pay attention or doesn't want to learn in class which leads to diagnosing students with LD's.

-A lot of things from this week surprised me. Just the readings alone were enough to surprise me, especially Michael's story. The fact that he had dyslexia and that prevented him from doing various things in his life, including excelling in the workplace, but then when I really started to think about it I realized that it is something that I have witnessed in my life. This intersectionality based on race and disability. I personally know two people that have dyslexia, one of them is my aunt and another is a friend. My Aunt is a Mexican woman in her thirties, and my friend is a white male in his teens. My Aunt has suffered from dyslexia from the time she was in grade school and still suffers from it today. It is not severe but it is still brought up from time to time and she says it was difficult but not to difficult, and that she had extra help throughout school for it. Anytime I have been with her I have never noticed the fact that she has dyslexia. My friend on the other hand has severe dyslexia, but all of his teachers tell him that it is fine and he will get over it eventually he is now around my age and still has extreme difficulty with spelling but teachers told him that there is no need for extra assistance and it is something that will pass. After realizing this I was surprised at how much this happens, and how much I never noticed it. The readings definitely opened my eyes.

Word Count: 499

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pre-Reading Week Eight

Learning Disabled: When a person has a learning disability is when an individual has difficulty learning in a typical manner. Usually when a person has a learning disability it is in a certain subject. There are some learning disabilities that can be difficult to overcome and can affect a person throughout their entire life whereas other learning disabilities can be addressed and overcome with the right attention and treatment.

Mentally Retarded: If an individual is mentally retarded they have difficulties dealing with obstacles that people face everyday. There is usually a delay in development, people who are diagnosed with mental retardation usually cannot develop reading, writing or math skills as rapidly as other children would be able to. Mental retardation can vary in severity, while some people can learn to become independent and live there own lives, others have a harder time doing so.

Emotionally Disturbed: Legally noticed as a type of disability, people with emotional disturbance suffer in a way that there emotions hinder their performance and development in life. Emotional disturbance can make it extremely difficult for an individual to develop and maintain relationships with others, not being able to maintain appropriate behavior in certain situations, and/or physically exuding their emotional distress on other individuals or objects.

All of the terms listed above are branches of special education because they all deal with different types of needs that certain individual requires. Learning disabled is categorized as a learning disorder, while emotionally disturbed is an emotional disorder, and mentally retarded can overlap into those two categories. Special education addresses these needs and helps to aid them whereas general education is the norm for what is used towards every other individual that does not exhibit any type of disorder or special need. People that have learning disabilities need someone there to pinpoint what exactly they need help or improvement on to help regulate their learning momentum towards those who are in "general education". Those who are mentally retarded need someone to help them learn the skills they need to become an independent person. People who are mentally retarded don't need help intellectually per se but rather to just gain skills to be dependent on themselves. People who are emotionally disturbed need assistance learning control and specific functions. Emotionally disturbed people have a hard time knowing boundaries and limits and therefore need assistance when it comes to functioning in their daily lives.

Word Count: 401

Sunday, October 14, 2012


-Experiences of domestic violence could be different based on class, and race because some people do not have access to certain programs or certain resources to help them get out of violent, or abusive relationships. Different factors also play a role in domestic violence, in terms of wether someone will stay or not. If someone is of lower class and needs two incomes to support there family, they may be hesitant to leave because they do not know what they would do if they left. Also safety plays a huge factor. If someone is of lower class with limited resources, they may not feel safe leaving an abusive partner for fear of what might happen if they rebel against that person. As far as certain races go, all cultures are different so the views on domestic violence may be different in each household. Some cultures are more chauvinistic then others and women in those cultures may be more quiet about the domestic violence then women in other cultures. Also it depends on the household you were raised in. A lot of domestic abuse cases that I have seen, stem from domestic abuse in the household of the abuser when they were younger, leading them to think that this is the norm. Not saying that it is so for all cases,and not saying that it is an acceptable excuse, because really there is no excuse but there are definitely a lot that come from that

-VAWA is the Violence Against Women Act that was passed in 1994. VAWA gave 1.6 billion dollars to fund different things such as women's shelters, intervention for domestic violence, rape education, as well as different programs that help improve the law and prosecution, as well as aiding victims. During the 80's and the 90's there was a "battered women's movement" that led to many different people coming together and going to congress to address, and act upon the rise of abuse against women, and domestic violence. VAWA supports training in communities to prevent domestic violence from happening as well as strengthening prosecutions and law enforcement when it comes to domestic violence.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Pre-Reading Week Six

Audre Lorde
February 18, 1934 - November 17, 1992

A librarian with an impressive college background, attending Hunter College to earn her bachelors degree in library science, Lorde was going to school to pursue her love of poetry.In 1954 she started to attend the National University of Mexico where she experimented with her lesbian sexuality. When she returned from the National University of Mexico, Lorde worked as a librarian and became a member of the lesbian scene that was emerging in Greenwich Village. Shortly after she decided to pursue her education further and obtained her Masters in Library Science from Columbia University. Lorde married attorney Edward Rollins in 1962, they had two children, and divorced in 1970 but this did not stop Lorde from pursuing her dreams. By this time Lorde had more titles than "librarian" she was also an activist, poet, and teacher. She began to teach classes focused on racism at the city college. She released two books of poems, the first called: "The First Cities" and the second titles "The Cable Rage". Audre was diagnosed with cancer and wrote an autobiography titled "The Cancer Journals". She struggled with cancer for fourteen years, first struggling with breast cancer, then falling victim to liver cancer. She died on November 17, 1992. Lorde was known not only for her poetry or for her romantic style of writing, but also her activism in issues of racism and feminism.

Cherrie Moraga
September 25, 1952 - 

Cherrie Moraga is a Chicana poet who resided from Los Angeles, CA. She earned her bachelors degree from Immaculate Heart College in L.A. and earned her Masters Degree from San Francisco State University. Moraga writes about her experiences of growing up "La Guerra" meaning  fair skinned, born to a Chicana mother and a white father this is what she refers to herself as. But race was not the only thing that provided inspiration to her writing. She was also a lesbian and wrote about her experiences both as a lesbian and a Chicana. She stated in an interview that once she opened up to her mother about her lesbianism  it created a newfound bond between her and her mother and gave her a newfound appreciation for being a Chicana. Moraga had already been writing before this experience but after it happened it really opened up her writing, Cherrie now felt like she could fully express herself without difficulty. She became an educator, teaching writing classes and drama classes at different universities across the U.S. Soon after Moraga started writing plays, these plays dealt with a range of issues, from racism, sexuality and feminism. Moraga is still a playwright to this day, having had her play premiere in January of this year and has had books published as well as published books. 

Word Count: 464