Steven Woo

While doing the final project, I was interested in how homeless people survive in society especially in New York. New York is one of the most expensive places to live in and surviving with minimum wage is definitely hard to manage. I read an article on the Ibtimes, homeless relieve mainly on government welfare and social programs to survive. The problem with these programs is that it can not support all the homeless people and the fact that the number of homeless people is not decreasing. As the number of homeless people increases the government needs additional funding to support them, however the government doesn’t have the extra money needed to help them. What can we do to provide support for the homeless?
http://www.ibtimes.com/cruel-winter-what-nyc-homeless-must-do-survive-656611

Diane Fung – Class Genocide is Among Us?

In English I had to read an excerpt from a book called Where We Stand: Class Matters by Bellhooks. She explains heavy classism in her life. Being a person of color living in the wealthy neighborhood of Greenwich Village, she often gets questioned, “Which family are you looking after?” etc. This typical example illustrates the ideas of prejudice towards people of color. Bell Hooks describes different classes leading different lives and how it ultimately affects us in a systemic way that will sooner or later cause us to be victims of class genocide. The rich is getting richer and the poor is continually stumbling. Both classes are entirely isolated but in a microscopic sense, you see that it is not so rainbows and butterflies. When Bell hooks speaks upon class, she initially talks about classism among the rich and the poor but later goes in depth about race, the white rich/poor and the black rich/poor.

I agree that class genocide is upon us. Gated communities have separate meanings. The poor are sheltered from adequate essentials and the rich are set apart in their more than enough, sufficient and capable lives. There are a few truths that are sometimes hard to stomach for the middle class, though. They tend to ignore the poor and praise the rich. This may be because the middle class is actually closer to the thin line between middle class and lower class than some might like to think. Bell hooks speaks upon the past of some affluent neighborhoods that used to be dirt poor with starving artists and how we are so quick to forget the upbringing of it all. In their defense, who wants to be? associated with poor aspects? It isn’t a middle class responsibility to look out for the poor. I’m not against helping those in need, but only do so when you have completely helped yourself. It would be illogical to provide for others when you cannot spare some yourself, the middle class.

“The white poor blend in, the black poor stand out.” This specific quote resonated with me because I agree with this in its entirety. We are taught as a society that “whiteness” is the norm and that everything else is a specification. If you see a white person, they are just a person. If you see a black person, they are specifically a black person. So when we see a white homeless person, they are just homeless. A black homeless person has many labels that might come along such as being “crazy.” It reminds me of something I once read about white people being offended when you call them a white person because they are so used to just being a person. The “otherness,” the poor black, has strings attached to their daily lives and it has always been this way since the beginning of American culture.

Does the rest of you believe this to be true? That class genocide is among us in the very near future? What do you think about the things that we can do to prevent this? Feedback on my thoughts as well. If you believe me to be wrong, please explain! Thank you.

Diane Fung – Reverse Racism

So in my last post I really quickly mentioned how I racism towards white people isn’t a real thing, and let me tell you why. To be privileged entails having the upper hand in a given category without earning it. In other words, everyone is privileged in some way or another. It just depends on which category (sexual orientation, class, ability, etc.) White privilege in particular refers to the advantages and opportunities experienced by white people in contrast to the experiences of non-whites exposed to the same conditions. White privilege is prevalent across many areas of life even if it may seem subtle. Due to white privilege, many people of color need to form safe spaces to express themselves and connect with their roots. The creation of these safe spaces have been criticized as a form of racism against whites. Thus the term “reverse racism” has been coined. However, this term should not be taken “seriously,” in my opinion. People of color CANNOT inflict “reverse racism” towards white people because white people are not oppressed socially and politically.

The struggle for racial equality, especially in our social encounters, is still an ongoing fight today. Civil rights activists have constantly been working to repair the damage done by the dominant white race by creating social safe spaces and platforms for people of color to thrive. Some of these platforms include BET (Black Entertainment Television), Latin Grammy Awards, Black History Month, the Hip-Hop community or simply any type of attention directed towards minorities. The phenomenon of reverse racism argues that such platforms are hindering the campaign for equality by excluding white people. Why do we have a Black Entertainment Television? Why is there an Asian History Month? Critics argue that reverse racism exists when there is no, for example, White History Month. The notion that ethnic safe spaces should be considered forms of reverse racism simply based on its natural exclusion of white people is illogical, and those who believe in it are only prolonging the hardship among people of color. Any and all other television networks already revolve around the white community. Why is there is no White Entertainment Television? Because ABC is White Entertainment Television. HGTV is White Entertainment Television. Hell, even Disney Channel is White Entertainment Television!!!

People of color are not able to inflict racism against white people because they do not have the privilege and power to do so, as evidenced in the social and political spheres. With that said, I don’t mean that white people cannot experience hate. What they experience instead is called prejudice or discrimination–not racism. The difference between prejudice and racism is a matter of emotional feelings and thoughts of hate contrasted with actions taken due to those feelings. To be racist, you must withhold the power to oppress with your privilege. This is why minorities simply cannot be racist towards whites. Non-whites lack the capacity and capability to harm and oppress.

As always, kindly offer your feedback. Do you think reverse racism is a thing? Why or why not? Thank you.

Steven Woo

Recently, I’ve been seeing posts about Brooklyn College students protesting for Sarah Aly and Thomas DeAngelis. Sarah Aly and Thomas DeAngelis were charge for violating rules of the CUNY code of conduct because they were participating in a mic check during a faulty meeting concerning the issue of tuition, diversity and surveillance. Aly and DeAngelis are facing penalties that would lead to expulsion. What’s worse President Gould are accusing them for anti-Jewish and other bashing comments. This is definitely crazy because DeAngelis is the first person in his family to go to college and this case might be the end of his college career.

We need to band together and help support them as their college career are at stake, therefore we need to do something about it. One of CUNY’s policy is that the college is require to protect the rights to express an individual’s view without any influence. These students are trying to voice their opinions about free tuition and helping Muslims. What can we do to aid Aly and DeAngelis in their fight to pardon their charges?

Civil Rights Attorneys Call on Brooklyn College to Drop Politically Motivated Charges Against Two Students

Civil Rights Attorneys Call on Brooklyn College to Drop Politically Motivat…

Civil rights attorneys are concerned about the disciplinary charges issued Wednesday against two Brooklyn Colleg…

Marcella Meykler

Oklahoma governor recently vetoed a bill that wanted to criminalize doctors who performed abortions, consequences including up to 3 years in prison. If this bill was passed, doctors would stop performing abortions, and women in need of abortions would resort to harmful ways of achieving abortion. In the beginning of the semester, we talked about putting on our sociological imagination and viewing things from an objective or different perspective. We need to see both sides of the argument and the potential long-term consequences. There has been discourse over the abortions in the form of pro-life and pro-choice. There have been arguments over who gets to make decisions about policy such as this. There is the perspective of gender and the fact that men implement policies over women’s bodies.The fact that this bill was not passed is a huge step toward ensuring access to medical procedures such as this and women’s rights to control their bodies.

This is the article about the bill
http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/20/politics/oklahoma-governor-vetoes-bill-that-would-criminalize-abortion/index.html?eref=rss_politics

What do you think about the issue of abortion?

Sasha Bonilla

Recently I read a play called “HIR” by Taylor Mac for my english class. The play is about a veteran coming back home from war to a dysfunctional family or to a family that is not familiar to him. In the play the veteran has a transgender sibling who prefers when people use the pronouns “ze” (he/her) or “hir” (he/she) when talking about them. The play is a quick read and very funny, I highly recommend it. Just yesterday on the news I heard a story that said people such as employers, landlords etc will be fined if they do not use theses pronouns if someone request they be used. Everyone must be asked their preferred pronoun from first interactions. Personally I believe this is a good idea and is opening the door up a little more for acceptance. If people like to be referred to with certain pronouns others should be respectful of that. Some argue that using these pronouns forces others to use terms that are associated with a political message they dont want to endorse and that not using these pronouns does’t really qualify as harassment. I think this is more of an issue of personal self identity and respect than politics. What do you guys think? Leave your comments below and check out Mac’s play!

Arielle Tornheim

With the thought of finals coming up, it reminded me of the No Child Left Behind Act. The NCLB was criticized because it was mainly focused on teaching for the test rather than teaching for knowledge. I feel as if some of these classes are like that too. In at least two of my classes my teachers repeatedly said this is important because it will be on the test, and I don’t appreciate when they as that. College is supposed to be about learning for information in order to get a good job, it shouldn’t be based solely on finals and midterms. Does anyone else feel this way?

Jorge Lata

During my job’s meal and rest breaks, I was reading blogs and one of the blogs known as Brooklyn College PSC CUNY contained important information that CUNY students should read carefully and join the network. The blog was demostrating a photo where where college faculty, staff and students were united and protesting for new work contract witthout the need to increase the college tuition. The CUNY system was founded to serve and educate the minority community and provide them an opportunity to move upward in the social class scale. Many lower and middle class students attend CUNY because of the affordable tuition and great education. I also feel that this is a social problem and that community memebers should step in and also take action. I also think that CUNY faculty and staff should get a fair contract with a decent salary. They deserved benefits and federal support because they are educating memebers of the Queens, bronx and brooklyn communities. I remembered the time when I had to work extra hours just to save enough cash to pay 200 $ more than my last payments. It was really hard to attend school and work fulltime and I feel that tuitions increases just makes the life of students much rougher. For example, I have friends that left college because of they couldnt afford to pay the tuition and I also notice an increasing nummber of students getting college loans. Honestly, I think that bankers and powerful government individuals are trying to make college expensive and convincing students to get loans. This kind of injustice is a great demostration how capitalism is the main source of social and political conflict. The increasing number of students getting loans is the new loan bubble and it’s going to bring severe problems to society. I don’t really know how tuition increases is going to stop. According to the blog, James Millikan was to continue increasing cuny tuition and I feel that his only goal is to increase revenue. He is not concerned about the social issues that society is going to confront in the next couple years. The quality of education is also critical and the level of tuition should not affect the overall college experience. I hope to continue striking and fighting for social justice.

Brooklyn College PSC-CUNY

Brooklyn College PSC-CUNY

Jared West

Shanice Oliver a 12 year old girl told her mom that she felt she was born into the wrong body. Fast forward 2 months and Shanice returns to school as 12 year old Shane. Most of the kids he went to school with completely understood that he felt he was supposed to be born a boy but accidentally came out a girl. What does this mean for the future? I think that even kids as young as 12 feel truly encouraged to express themselves but are to young to see this as strange. This is truly a big step in the right direction

Amy Yedid

This morning I was watching an episode of the show Friends. In the episode the character Ross has a child with this girl Carol who is a lesbian. When Carol dropped or their son Ben to Ross’s house, Ross noticed his son holding a Barbie. He asked Carol why Ben was holding a Barbie and she said because he always plays with it and he likes it. This got me thinking about the time in class we spoke about if parents should let heir children play with toys of the opposite sex. Should a boy play be allowed to play with Barbie’s and should girls be allowed to play with monster trucks? When watching this episode Ross convinced his son to play with the boy toys and let go of the Barbie. It’s a very controversial topic and while watching this episode I really didn’t know what to do