Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Did anyone watch Oprah last week? She was interviewing a man that had a show called "What would you do?" He set people up in certain situations to see how they would react. In one episode they had an employee refuse to serve an arab woman in front of costumers. They wanted to see how the customers would react. The employee and the arab woman acted all day. Very few people said anything at all to stand up for the woman. Only one woman asked to speak to the manager. They set up situations such as this multiple times and I was shocked to see that barely anyone stood up for the victims. It made me think about what I would do if I was in a situation like that. I hope that I would be brave enough to stand up for people's rights but I honestly don't know what I would do. This episode connected with our class in many ways. It showed ways in which people can say the words and make a difference. I wish we had time to show it in class it was really inspiring!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I was listening to an old christina aguilera cd and it reminded me of this class! ha.. I'm sure everyone remembers this song...

So, what, am I not supposed to have an opinion?
Should I keep quiet just because I'm a woman?
Call me a bitch 'cause I speak what's on my mind
Guess it's easier for you to swallow if I sat and smiledW
hen a female fires back
Suddenly big talker don't know how to act
So he does what any little boy would do
Makin' up a few false rumors or two
That for sure is not a man to me,
slanderin' names for popularity
It's sad you only get your fame through controversy
But now it's time for me to come and give you more to say

This is for my girls all around the world
Who have come across a man that don't respect your worth
Thinkin' all women should be seen not heard
So what do we do girls? shout louder!
Lettin 'em know we're gonna stand our ground
So lift your hands high and wave 'em proud
Take a deep breath and say it loud
Never can, never will Can't hold us down

So, what, am I not supposed to say what I'm saying?
Are you offended with the message I'm bringin'?
Call me whatever 'cause your words don't mean a thing
Guess you ain't even a man enough to handle what I sing
If you look back in history it's a common double standard of society
The guy gets all the glory the more he can score
While the girl can do the same and yet you call her a whore
I don't understand why it's okay,The guy can get away with it,
the girl gets named
All my ladies come together and make a change
And start a new beginning for us, everybody sing...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Talking Point #10

What Can We Do? Allan G. Johnson


-saying the words

Johnson argues that everything thing that we do, no matter how small or how few people take part in it, to raise awareness about issues of power and privilege will help illiminate the problem. People need to say the words and recognize the issue before anything can be done.


1. "You say the little efforts that i make will do no good; they will never prevailto tip the hovering scalewhere Justice hangs in the balance.I don't think I ever thought they would.But I am prejudiced beyond debateIn favor of my right to choose which sideshall feel the stubborn ounces of my weight"
-Johnson is saying that every ounce of effort a person puts into an issue, no matter how small, will have an a positive affect.

2. "Once we can see and talk about what’s going on, we can analyze how it works as a system. We can identify points of leverage where change can begin.”
-Once we recognize the problem, we will be able to look into it deeper and change it.

3. “You don’t have to do anything dramatic or earth-shaking to help change happen. As powerful as systems of privilege are, they cannot stand the strain of lots of people doing something about it, beginning with the simplest act of naming the system out loud.”
-We need to talk about the problems out loud, rather than ignoring them, or nothing will be accomplished.

I think that I have matured in my thoughts from the beginning of the year when we read the first Johnson piece until now. I feel that I am trying my hardest to do what Johnson wants us to do, recognize the issues at hand. Little things such as talking about what I learned in class with my friends and family, or reaching out to people that I never would have before are helping to address the issues of privilege of power in our society. In the beginning of the year, these issues were not even a thought in my mind, and like many others, I chose to ignore them. I thought that it would take a miracle to stop all the issues that we have in our society, so I mine as well continue with my life. Now I realize that fixing the problem is not about having huge protests and getting millions of people to agree, it is about talking about the issue and "saying the words." Although I am not perfect, I truely am trying to say the words in my daily life.


Working on the final project went well. Everyone in our group showed up and we accomplished everything that needed to be done. We are doing our individual slides on our own and are going to be putting them all together the next time we get a chance to work on the projects. I'm just wondering if there will be anymore class time...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Talking Point #9

Bernard Lefkowitz, Our Guys



Lefkowitz argues that because a certain group of people were given privilege and had power in a community, they were excused of their negative behavior.

1. "I began to frame Glen Ridge as a story of power and powerlessness: the power of young males and the community that venerated them, and the powerlessness of one marginalized young woman-" (2)
-This shows that the boys felt that they had power because of the community that they live in and used that power against a young girl that they felt was inferior to them - just because she was different.

2. "If she was as vulnerable as the boys were powerful, it wasn't only because she was intellectually impaired, It was because she received and accepted the message sent out by the kids and adults who lived in the "normal" world. " (6)
-THe people of Glen Ridge were sending out a message of who should be valued. The jocks were to be praised because of who there parents were, and where they ranked in the society. Leslie believed that what the boys told her to do was important, not because of her mental disability, but because their community put the boys so high up on a pedistol.

When reading this article, I felt disgusted. Those boys committed an inhumane act and should be punished severely. Just because of where they live, and who their parents are, nobody is making them feel sorry for what they did. No one wants to admit that there could be something wrong in the perfect world of Glen Ridge so they are just pretending it didn't happen. Although this is an extreme case, it proves what we have been learning all semester. White privilege and power control everything. I believe that if a person of color or someone with little money committed the same crime they would be disowned completely from a community. It would not be a situation where the people in the neighborhood pretended it didn't happen. Also, it shows an example of male privilege. The jocks are usually the most praised students in a school and are usually the ones getting in the most trouble. I remember in my high school almost all of the well known athletes were able to get away with murder, barely pass, and still received full scholarships into colleges. I also attended a predominantly white school. Although I guess I would be considered a person of privilege, I do not think it is right to put certain people up on a pedistol that do not deserve to be there. The events that happened at Glen Ridge prove why it needs to stop.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Talking Point #7

"One More River to Cross" Charles Lawrence


-De facto vs. de jure segregation
-Brown vs. Board of Education

Lawrence argues that the Supreme Court’s reasoning in striking down an interdistrict desegregation order in Detroit was flawed in that it misunderstood the true nature of the institution of segregation. No one realized what is really happening with racism in the United States.

1. “Segregation’s only purpose is to label or define blacks as inferior and thus exclude them from full and equal participation in society.”

2."If one views the Brown case narrowly, as a case intended to desegregate the nation's schools, history has proven it a clear failure" (281)
-proving that he thinks Brown was a failure.

3."Once the state has effectively institutionalized racial segregation as a labeling device, only minimal maintenance is required". (286)

It was not easy or enjoyable for me to read this piece by Charles Lawrence but I believe that he brings up things that no one wants to believe happens in society today. Many people think that segregation is a thing of the past. Although it may not be as extreme as it was many years ago, it still occurs. Until people realize and recognize what is occurring wtih segregation in society, nothing can be done to fix it.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Talking Point #6

Tracking: Why Schools Need to Take Another Route
-Jeannie Oakes


Author's Argument:
Oakes argues that students should not be labeled at young ages because it gives certain students more opportunities than others and tracking should not take place in schools.

1. "Students who are placed in high-ability groups have access to far richer schooling experiences than other students." (178)

2."One fact about tracking is unequivocal: tracking leads to substantial differenes in the day-to-day learning experiences students have at school." (178)

3."Students who are placed in high-ability groups have access to far riched schooling experiences than other students." (178)

4. "Students who need more time to learn appear to get less; those who have the most difficulty learning seem to have fewer of the best teachers." (179)

First of all I want to say it was really easy to read this - it got to the point quickly. I do not know exactly how I feel on the subject of tracking. I understand where Oakes is coming from when she says that tracking gives certain kids more opportunities than others. I do not agree with that aspect of it at all. I don't think it's fair that privaleged students are getting more attention and opportunities than less privaleged students. The other side of me thinks it is easier for kids to learn when they are with students who are on the same academic level as them. They feel less self conscious and are able to turn to other students with their problems. Students with higher abilities will not be set back by others who are less advanced than them. Students with higher abilities and students with less abilities should both have teachers with high enthusiasm and have the same opportunities. The only difference between them should be that one class may need to spend a little more time on a subject than the other class. I agree with Jeannie Oakes that tracking gives more opportunities to some students than other students but I feel that if they changed the way they pursued it in classrooms than it would be more successful.