No one is born …

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.

Nelson Mandela

With the passing of Nelson Mandela today, I thought it would be appropriate to share one of his many great quotes on racism.  I personally found it sad that there was more of a buzz on social media outlets like Facebook and twitter this week about Paul Walker’s death than Mandela’s. Not that his death is more important but he had a much greater impact on the world by being a strong force against apartheid and institutional discrimination in South Africa. I’m sad to see such an influence man pass

Quote | Posted on by | Leave a comment 10 ways race still shapes society is a website were the author creates lists on various ideas, they can be from the strange to the intellectual, this list is about how race is still affecting out society.

1. income:  based on your race how much you make

2. wealth: a correlation can be seen with race and the median income

3. justice: depending on your race you may get longer prison sentences

4. healthcare: even with “Obomacare” certain racial minorities still do not have access to healthcare

5. education: depending on your race, certain groups will outperform others

6. intellectual ability: race and stereotypes can affect our abilities

7. trust: even small amount of prejudice can affect how we fell about someone

8. aggression: a study to see if the subject should shoot the potential attacker, they had .850 milliseconds to decide, the attacker may have a gun or a cell phone, the only difference is one was black one was white.  Can you guess what the results were?

9. movies: most speaking roles go to a certain race, disproportionally so…

10. death penalty: certain groups depending if they murdered another certain group are more likely to get the death penalty

I purposely did not say what race was for each, I think by this point in society we should be able to see the disparity in treatment to minority groups.  Sometimes it is subtle and you have to take a step back and look at the numbers but it is there.  I still believe that people need to start trying harder and “pulling themselves up by there bootstraps”. 

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Asian – American conflict in cinema

I admit that I watch more than I read.  I have also seen a lot though.  With regards to our recent discussion on the immigration and interaction of Asian culture in America, there are several films that come to mind that may help to illustrate these relationships.  I would not deem it fair to reference any film that directly was about martial arts or war, especially films about Vietnam, or Pearl Harbor and World War II.  There are some spoofs too that show how we perceived these cultures at the time.  There are films we labelled as classics in the 60s where the Asians depicted in the film were generalized and given exaggerated phyical features like slanted eyes and big teeth intended to amuse the audience.  It’s quite amazing what we accepted during these times as representation of cultures we didn’t respect.

A film I very much enjoyed was Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story.  I am a bit biased as a Bruce Lee fan, but there are great examples of how Chinese immigrants were treated even in California in the 60s and 70s.  It is not just how Americans would call them Japs (because their all the same, right?) and treat them as second class citizens, but even how their culture viewed us, the Gwielo, and how their people weren’t to mix in with us or to trust us.

Another film that showed the business world between the Japanese and the Americans of the 80s was ‘Rising Sun’ with Wesley Snipes and Sean Connery.  Though a thriller and muder mystery film, it also gives many classic examples of the Japanese culture in business and even explains some of our differences.  It also shows some of the American cultures that were very much admired by the Japanese and what they did to be part of them.

There are clearly many more and some that will explain these cultures more thoroughly, but these show some great modern day examples and are enjoyable films as well.  Caution, ‘Rising Sun’ is a bit racy with an early sex scene, but wow will you love the taiko drums.  Incredible.

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How to annoy a liberal

I came across this today, and although it did make me chuckle, what are others thoughts on this?

I read through the short article under the t-shirt and I couldn’t help but to agree with some of the things it touches on.

A quote reads, “one poll found that the vast majority of Americans prefer store signs that read “Merry Christmas” over “Happy Holidays.” This is something I agree with first hand and also say in the business I run. Although there is nothing wrong with “happy holidays”, when Merry Christmas is said, I believe it is equally as nice.  Saying ‘Merry Christmas’ isn’t an attack on any religion or belief. It’s the thought that counts and I love hearing all expressions all December long. No one should take offence to someone telling them “Merry Christmas”! What a grinch they must be if they feel this way! 

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  I hope everyone had a warm Thanksgiving. This year I refrained (for the most part) from wishing people a Happy Thankstaking. I don’t remember where I first heard that, I was at a Powwow or some Indian function when a brother told me that. I always thought it will make people think about Indian people and the almost genocide our people survived. However as I have grown to middle age I realize that what this holiday represents, what is most important, are the moments. The moments in which I laugh with family, the moments I look around a table and realize how lucky I am to have my wife, my boys, my grandchildren, my parents, and friends who enjoy the moments as well. And even if they don’t enjoy the moments I do. It is little stuff, little snippets of life I happen to be at the right place at the right time to catch and remember. I just lost my Grandmother two weeks ago, and I will miss her forever, but as she told me the last time I visited her she had a great life. She was 99 years old. My 80 year old Dad and my 78 year old Aunt both remarked how amazing it is to say they just lost their mother. My grandmother was a wonderful upbeat, loving, kind, generous, thoughtful woman who never complained about anything and never said a bad word about another soul ever. She and my Grandfather had one of those love stories you see only in the movies. They were married for 65 years. The night before her death I was driving home from class and came upon the side of the road a great Blue Heron. Anytime I have seen one they immediately fly away. They don’t like people getting close. This Heron looked at me as I stopped the car and rolled down the window, we looked at each other and he flew off. My Grandfather was a very spiritual man and believed in re-incarnation. When he passed away herons became a symbol for him. I believe that this was my Grandfather’s way of telling me he came for my Grandmother. It could be just an Indian thing but, there were other cars  on the road and this heron was right on the side of the road, just when I drove by. I have been lucky to have so many moments with my Grandmother and the rest of my family. I understand how life just does what it does , it doesn’t stop when someone is born, or when someone dies, it just keeps going sometimes seemingly thoughtless, but it is not thoughtless, it does what the creator intended it to do. a circle without end, we don’t decide when we hop on or hop off, I just try to be grateful for the ride and the people who I love, who are sharing the ride with me. I hope everyone finds that peace of mind and enjoy and appreciate the ride while you’re on this side of the circle that never ends.

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Katy Perry’s AMA Performance

Sunday night was the American Music Awards and pop singer, Katy Perry, is receiving a lot of hate for opening performance.  She was dressed in geisha attire and had cherry blossoms and Japanese drummers covering the stage.  She also changed the background music to reflect the Asian theme she was going for.  

Some are saying it shouldn’t be considered racist because she was paying homage to the culture of the country in which she spent part of her childhood growing up. They also pointed out that she wasn’t wearing the rice powder or the traditional Maiko makeup. 

However, her back up dancers all had the “Geisha face” and while her’s wasn’t the exact same, you could see that it was Geisha inspired. The problem i saw with the performance is the costume she wore; it was reminiscent of the traditional Geisha outfit but with her cleavage exposed and high slits up both of her legs which further promoted the over sexualization of Asian women.  I feel like the performance wouldn’t have been so bad if it wasn’t for the sexy changes to the attire.  

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English or Spanish?

Going off of what we discussed in class on Tuesday reminded me of my own feelings on the subject of our primary language.  I feel sort of guilty admitting this but the store I used to work at was right next to a Maria Garden’s and the majority of people that worked there were Mexican.  Everyday they would come in for lunch and I would get irritated every time.  They would be speaking Spanish to each other the entire time and when they would order food I could hardly understand what they were saying.  I remember thinking to myself and actually saying to my co-workers how annoying it was that we are in America and all I’m surrounded by for a good half hour everyday is Spanish speaking people.  They would also attempt to ask for lottery which irritated me more because they would tell me the numbers in Spanish! Although I could understand what they were asking for I couldn’t understand why they didn’t speak English more, at least to me.  I realize how our country is becoming filled with a good majority of people who speak Spanish and that is perfectly fine to me but I do from experience believe they should be able to speak English more.  It’s sort of scary the numbers we discussed on Tuesday about how Spanish is expected to be the primary language eventually.  I took 3 years of Spanish in high school but I definitely wouldn’t be able to hold a conversation in Spanish.  Makes me think a lot about the future of our country.

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