And the Class Begins

The year 2008 was the first presidential election I was old enough to participate in. As the time approached I became eager to step foot into the ballot and vote. Unfortunately, when the time came I decided not to vote. By making this decision I received positive and negative feedback.  There were my African American peers who couldn’t believe I wouldn’t vote for Barack Obama, our potential first African American president. Then there were people that believed it was important for me to vote because every vote counts and makes a difference. On the other hand, I had very few people that actually agreed with my decision not to vote.  I know people are probably thinking, well why didn’t you vote? I chose not to vote because I didn’t may much attention to the candidates campaigns and knew nothing about what either of them wanted to achieve as president. With that in mind I felt not voting was the best decision. As a young African American I didn’t want to feel as if I only voted for Barack Obama was because he too was African American. When I vote for an American president, I want to understand my decision. At the time of the 2008 election I could honestly say I would have been voting because of race and I didn’t want to be that individual.

As far as Barack Obama being label as the First African American president, coming in after the 2001, 9-11 attacks, I believe he has higher standards to live by.  I have heard so many judgmental things in blogs, magazines the news and on the radio. The most shocking of all is accusing Obama of not being an American citizen. How could people cause such uproar to the point where Obama would need to prove his identity by showing his birth certificate? To think that people actually think that America has overcome the race barrier is absolutely ludicrous in my opinion. Battles like things are prime examples that prove that yes, America has an African American in office, but race is still a major part of American society.

Reading the Daily News article about the riot at Rye Playland caused my brain to start wondering big time because I have mixed feelings about the issue.  No head scarves/Hijab’s are permitted on rides excluding Muslim women from enjoying rides during their visit to the park. According to park officials the rules were set up to prevent hats from falling onto the tracks of roller coasters and other rides. My first question would be, if hats were the concern, why not only ban hats from the ride? I understand that loose garments are a potential hazard but I believe women that wear the Hijab take the precautions necessary to be sure that their Hijab is firmly attached to their head because of religious reasons. I do understand that the amusement park wants to be extra cautious in order to protect their business but it makes it difficult when the rule is not established when the park originally opens and if the rules are not completely clear to everyone. Perhaps a solution could be to as people to sign a waiver as they enter the park to be sure they understand that some rides hear gear is not permitted. This way confusion is eliminated and the need for refunds based on the headgear issue would be eliminated.

As far as the MLK statue, I agree with Maya Angelou; the quote should not have been shortened. The quote should be redone in order to include the entire quote unless another quote is used in its place. I’m not sure that I completely agree that the shortened version of the quote makes “MLK look arrogant” but I do believe it takes away from the significance and importance of the original quote.  As the article continues critics mention that an African American artist should have been chosen to create the statue instead of a Chinese artist, I definitely don’t agree with that statement. I believe an artist that is capable of handling the job description presented to them should have created the statue, race and ethnicity doesn’t play a role in artistic ability.

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One Response to And the Class Begins

  1. A.P. Colucci says:

    First of all, I think you did the right thing by not voting when you weren’t comfortable voting. It is important to vote, yes; but it is equally important to be an informed voter. Because of the unusual nature of the 2008 election, it is easy for people to exaggerate the importance of the vote, but ultimately, you have to comfortable with your vote.

    I’ve not read the article on the Rye Playland incident, but it seems that having everyone sign a form on their way in would be cumbersome, and not truly feasible. If the rule is posted, it is a visitor’s responsibility to read the posted rules. It does not only affect Muslim women, but likewise affects Orthodox Jewish males, with their yamakas. I can’t comment on whether or not I think it’s fair without having read the article, but it does seem like parties on both sides of the incident overreacted.

    As for the race of the sculptor of the Martin Luther King Jr. statue, I think Dr. King would be disappointed that the race of the sculptor became an issue. Considering he fought for equality, and not just African American equality, I think he would be honored to have a minority sculptor of any race.


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