Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Possible Progression

To investigate how methods of progress and societal change have shifted since the civil rights movement and determine what they may be now, we must look to what problems have been recently called upon, and compare to those in the past. Issues civil rights have shifted from fighting blatant segregation to unseen discrimination in a seemingly "just" government.  A common idea between King's Letter From Birmingham and "I don't know what to do with good white people," is that apathy fosters civil stagnation. The current system is prospers benefiting those average American moderates who fail to stand for beliefs perpetuate the extortion of those underprivileged. By utilizing the average Americans apathy, the current discrimination has become a force unlike that faced before. To end this era of legally unseen discrimination, we must expose those moderate Americans reaping benefits from a systematically privileged society and being perceived as "progressive" for acknowledging its current state yet failing to act. Just as in MLK's time, societal change will come from inspiring the moderate; we must demonstrate that an equal society will yield greater benefit for everyone, allowing utmost creativity and knowledge to flourish without bound, freed from the grasp of discrimination. We must demonstrate that utmost equality must be demanded. Although the nature of issues in today's society may have become more subtle, avenues of pressure to promote equality still remain true. Life would be obviously less stressful, and more enjoyable in the absence of discrimination, we we must demonstrate its clear value regardless of personal opinion. Just as pointed out in Bennett's article, those privileged must be empathetic to those unfortunate and understand the nature of such privileged to be able to improve the conditions we all must live with.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Changing the World!

After reading all three reading from last week and this week, the authors from each assignment, try in their own way to give a solution or their interpretation of the condition of the world they live in. In "Why the Revolution Won't Be Tweeted”, by Malcolm Gladwell, Gladwell focuses more on how effective protest were back in the civil rights movement and how people went about executing them. Due to such execution, the many protest and riots that were held caused great change. Gladwell also mentions that many of the sit-in were done mainly by college aged students. Gladwell feels as though social media has made a major setback in how people argue for change and believes we should go back to how it used to be. In Brit Bennett’s article, "I Don't Know What to Do with Good White People", she finds herself stuck in trying to believe that the white people she has come encounter with in her life are genuinely good or trying to over compensate for the history of their race. Though Bennett’s mother and father both faced some racial incidents while growing up, Bennett overall tries to see the good in people before judging them but sometimes feels as if she is just overthinking the situation. Bennett’s article ties in well with Martin Luther King Jr’s article "Letter from a Birmingham Jail", in that King also believes that white people were afraid to stand up for civil rights in that time. King focuses more on the religious aspect by questioning the men of the church in why they don’t feel the need to stand up and join the oppressed. In my opinion to the question on improving the world, I think it starts with young people. Since we are the world’s future, kids today can change the whole outlook of discrimination of race, religion, sexuality, and many other differences we face today. I also feel if there were more awareness out there about social issues going on today, more people will get involved with trying to help better the world they live in and join together to find a change.

We can't change the world unless we change ourselves!
                                                      -Christopher Wallace

Improving the world

From reading the texts, to go about improving our world, we must begin by taking action and not just letting things happen. Martin Luther King wrote a letter from Birmingham Jail re-stating his actions that caused him to end up there and he justified why what he did wasn't anything wrong and that he had a reason for that. He mentioned that negation was a good idea, but it probably wasn't. Because after hundreds of years, justice still wasn't served. He felt he needed to do something to change that and so he did with peaceful protests. In “I Don't Know What to Do With Good White People,” Brit Bennet discusses her experiences she has had with white people, good and bad. She even brings up the Eric Gardner and Mike Brown incident. She brings up the word intentions a lot throughout her article and how we never know the intentions of others, and how other people don’t know our own intentions. In “Why the Revolution won’t be tweeted,” a lot of examples were mentioned as well and how each one of the events and incidents had their own way of reaching out to the world. The sit ins didn’t use twitter or facebook yet they still had a huge impact on society. A lot of incidents today are known because of twitter and facebook and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that because what other better way to reach to millions of people than through something that can take a couple of seconds? As long as action is taken and important incidents aren’t ignored than that can somehow improve the world because it creates awareness and or influence others to make a change.

World Problems?... Where to Begin

Honestly, sometimes I am ashamed of my race. It baffles me that as humans we cannot simply co-exist in a peaceful and positive world.
The world is a system of checks and balances, good and evil, right and wrong. It may seem like fairy tale nonsense or karma, but either way its a simple fact. Its Newton's law applied in a social setting, for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction. After reading all of the Readings for Ideas, my one question comes back to: why? Why in the first place did any of this have to happen? I believe the problems our human race has had in the past is a wakeup call. From a scientific standpoint our actions hold no value, because underneath sexual orientation or pigmented skin or religion, we are all the same. As humans we MUST end this hatred we have for others that may be unlike us. This uneasiness of the uncertain should not manifest into aggression or discrimination. We are all beings of one race the human race. A call for action is needed so that these problems we've had in the past will never become a problem again. A more open mindset is a necessity. Our natural tendency should foremost be positivity to keep the scale tilted more in favor of the good in life. With a more open mindset we can utilize all of the creativity, intelligence, and knowledge the world has to offer without worrying about race or sexual orientation. To improve the world, we must improve our mindset. This means carrying out actions of non-violence to protest problems such as how the Greensboro Four acted in response to segregation. Or how MLK chose to respond to being thrown in jail in Birmingham, Alabama. Chose consciously to look past flaws, race, or personal choices. Weather it matters to you or not, that person has their own thoughts and feelings which are just as important as yours. As outlined in Brit Bennett's article, it's exhausting to be biased toward others, if there were no discrimination or prejudice life would be simpler, less stressful. Everyone would be just another individual trudging through the game called life. Moreover, who is one person or a group of self-entitled individuals to claim they are any better. Everyone should be treated with kindness and respect, even if they are different than you. If everyone were to have this mindset then the world wouldn't have so many social problems. It's all bullying, and dominating, its all wrong. I just hope that the human race realizes that we will be our own downfall if we do not do something to change our social ills today.


How best should we go about improving our world? Everyone seems to have different, yet similar approaches to this question. In an article, “I Don’t Know What to Do with Good White People” by Brit Bennett, Bennett approaches this topic to say that over her life she has met many kind white humans but also later goes to say that many white people fail in intentions. Bennett argued that many white Americans now days are just trying to look like good people, trying to prove to others that they care and are truly nice. In Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” MLK Jr.’s main focus was on how religious communities, Christian communities, were not backing him up. Many religious communities were too afraid to stand up with MLK and his comraderies and fight for what everyone knew they deserved. MLK Jr.’s and Bennett’s articles coincide together well because MLK Jr. talks about how many white people would not stand up for blacks back in the day and Bennett talks about how many white people now are trying to over compensate with their concern. Now on the other hand, Malcolm Gladwell’s article, “Why the Revolution Won’t Be Tweeted”, focuses a lot on the comparison of revolutions tens to hundreds of years ago and the way “revolutions” are enacted now days. He focuses less on the why of revolutions and more on how revolutions are put in place. His view on the way the world communicates now is very negative and believes the first step to improving this world, which is something that would require a major revolution, is not to look to the internet that human interaction, strong tie relationships, are required. Gladwell doesn’t believe in revolutions starting through social media because social media is filled with thousands of “weak tie relationships” and if you barely or even don’t know someone what is going to make you fight for them? All three of the essays provide insight into social change/ revolutions although none provide a direct solution to our world’s problems a common idea is simple, people need to build strong relationships with their community members, all community members, and when they are in need help them and don’t just help them because it’ll make you feel/look good help because you care. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Small Change

In  “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted” by Malcolm Gladwell you asked us to argue which method he used more effectively, logos, ethos, or pathos. In my personal opinion from the context of what I read I feel as though he used a fair amount of all three. I say this because he uses logos to explain things that have happened in the past and how they impacted things in today’s similar occurrences. He states “The things that King needed in Birmingham- discipline and strategy—were things that online social media cannot provide.” This statement alone shows both logos and pathos. Pathos is used when he is telling the stories about the times like the students at the sit-in and how it effected them and using their statements; “I suppose if anyone had come up behind me and yelled ‘Boo,’ I think I would have fallen off my seat.” And last but not least I feel as though the way ethos is used is by being able to use previously told stories and examples such as one written by Clay Shirky about a lost cell phone and how he argues pre-internet that would have never happened. All in all I feel as though the author used a nice relevance of all three skills coherently.

social media

    After reading the article “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not be Tweeted” by Malcolm Gladwell, he basically explains in this article the difference between the activist now and the activist people of back then. He explains how people use technology now to be known and step up, when decades ago they would do all of that in person. Gladwell uses great examples throughout his essay, he starts off by telling us the story of four college students started a protest just by sitting in a “whites only” lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina. He uses this example to prove that many of us wouldn't do that today, many people today wouldn't stand up for what they believe in person and would rather do it by pressing “like” or the “retweet” button behind a computer screen. Gladwell uses logos to support his ideas when he uses the example of the Facebook page of Save Darfur Coalition that is found in page 321 on the bedford handbook. Gladwell uses ethos by pointing out in some example on how people use the internet for the wrong causes. He insisted that many people use technology to contribute to small changes when they could be outside and focusing on more important ones. After all, Gladwell argues that social networking used to promote big changes doesn't work because the internet isn't a strong source to bring people together and fight, without leadership this only causes small changes.