I learn so much in this class and got to do some amazing service learning hours. It made me more comfortable to share my cultural background and just interacting with some of those refugee kids made me feel good about myself because they look up to me. I’m glad that this class has allowed me to get out of my comfort zone. Learning and interacting with those kids was something special that I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life. As we build our cultural awareness, we also build bridges to trust, respect and understanding across cultures and within a multicultural workplace, fostering productive interactions and agreements. I learn a lot about cultural diversity. Cultural diversity allows many different ideas and peoples to come together to form a whole that is far more than the sum of their parts. It allows scientific propagation through viewpoints that would have gone unnoticed by certain cultures. I’m from Minneapolis, Minnesota and the cultural diversity there is astounding because many groups of people with many different intellectual, tolerant, and social abilities come together and make Minnesota a nice beautiful state.
All kinds of media influence our culture; the news is a major one. T.V. Radio, music. Anything you see with your eyes and hear with your ears. Also tv creates stereotypes, so it presents the image one one group or nation through a particular ‘lens’. For example, what do you associate with Africa? France? Australia? So, even just using images, aren’t our attitudes influenced heavily? My generation especially is easily misled we don’t even try to learn about other cultures and seek information we believe everything we see on tv. To be honest. I don’t really get my opinion directed by what the media shows. e.g. the media would show an image of an anorexic girl and present her to the public as someone who was beautiful. girls would see this from an early age while they are of the age of easy influence and will suffer to try to attain what they see in media. many of these problems are things they would not and should not need to go through, but because their perception of beauty is altered by an industry. they become unsure of themselves.
So i talked to my uncle who married a white women and he explained to me that the family doesn’t like having her around mainly because she doesn’t know our culture and by him marrying outside our race they frown upon that, he explains to me that they show fake love. When she is around they don’t really talk to her and would exclude her from everything family oriented. My uncle got fed up to the point he had to confront his mother about it and explained to her that it’s not fair because he loves this girl even though she is a different race. In a way my family has discriminated against her because her cultural background and skin is not similar. Like in class we talked about cultural norms my uncle went against it by marrying a white women and that made the family upset and they showed it by the way they treated my uncle wife.
I was very intrigued and not really shocked on the TED Talk video called “Priming Some Kids for College and Others for Prison” by Alice Goffman (2012). The problem is how we are preparing some kids for college and others for prison. She mentions how she seen a lot of African Americans and Latino Americans get beaten and how police target these two races. She spent 6 years in a troubled Philadelphia neighborhood and saw firsthand how teenagers of African American and Latino background are funneled down the path to prison. Why are we offering handcuffs and jail time instead of educating them and giving them a beneficial punishment that will help them not land in prison or in the streets. One of her main examples of how we are setting up these kids for prison is she talked about a Hispanic kid who got suspended for punching a kid for calling his mom a crackhead. It resulted with him going to jail for almost his senior year he tried to reenroll but unfortunately turned 19 that year so he couldn’t go to school. Now a college dropout with a felony assault in his record, his life started going downhill from there.
A solution to avoid prison for our African American and Latino kids is to provide them more opportunities instead labeling them as criminals. In addition it’s important to keep kids in school so they wouldn’t have time to do illegal things. Another solution I suggest is that we bring awareness of what’s going on in black and Latino neighborhoods because police are targeting these two specific races and a lot of people are blind to what’s happening. The awareness will at least open society’s eye and reconsider the people that we have so call protecting our neighborhoods.
One of the articles that supports my solution states that we shouldn’t kick kids out of school but find a better alternative and tell them what they did wrong and work on how they can better instead of kicking them out of school (Porter, 2015, p.57). When kids are suspended it leads to getting in trouble. In the article School-to-Prison Pipeline: The Business Side of Incarcerating, Not Educating Students in Public Schools, Tracie explains “Expulsion or suspension would have landed me alone at home, and negative forces in my community could have changed my fate as a bright, latchkey kid to something other than a lawyer, scholar, and teacher in this world” (Porter, 2015, p.57). The second article, No Man Left Behind, suggest that programs such as the Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB) can be a support system for minority groups to get through college (Reynolds, 2012).
Goffman, A. (2015, May). Retrieved March 21, 2017, from https://www.ted.com/talks/alice_goffman_college_or_prison_two_destinies_one_blatant_injustice
Porter, T. R. (2015). The School-to-Prison Pipeline: The Business Side of Incarcerating, Not Educating, Students in Public Schools. Arkansas Law Review (1968-Present), 68(1), 55-81.
REYNOLDS, C. V. (2012, March 17). No Man Left Behind. Chronicle of Higher Education. p. 20.
My thoughts on privilege from the beginning till now hasn’t changed much. For example if a women decides she wants to stay home and start a family that is completely fine but if a man says he wants to people will call him lazy and also. Why should we judge both genders unequally? In an our world today women are paid less and I feel like male have the upper hand in getting jobs easier than women. And then if a women wants to do a job like being in the fire and rescue service or police them will lower the standards of the physical test. Another example that makes males more privilege than women is when a female joins the army or any type of authority position she is very highly praised by society but it’s expected of a man. As a society we need to confront these issues in order to move on. Women should have the same privileges as man.
I really enjoyed this week activity when we got into our groups and divided into our class. The group I was in had the most power because we had the most points and had the power to change the rules also. The other groups seem to not like us since we had more power. They didn’t want to trade with us. It seems like the class created a boundary between the groups. The topic racism hits home to me the group that presented made some good points I feel like we don’t need to stereotype a person by their color when we can their name or just label them a friend. Growing up I seen a lot of racism around me especially the white cops in my neighborhood would harass us for no reason and automatically assume we were up to no good just because we would hang out as a group and police took that as threating and white neighbors would be scared.
Privilege can affect me in many ways one of the ways is racial privilege. Obviously White privilege is not a myth. I feel like our society values white people more than color. Although this does not mean white people have perfect lives, they still have it better than most people of color. There all a lot of examples of white privilege but there is also black privilege for example African Americans can belong to clubs or organizations that take care everybody within there race, but if white people did that it would be consider racist. Blacks can call white people “honky” and “cracker” but whites cannot use the N-word.
a lot of things stood out to me this semester. before joining this class, I wasn’t really into my culture a lot now I want to explore my Sudanese culture more. this class really surprised me because I have met a lot of refugees that are from my country and it makes me feel good that I be a role model for them. this guest speaker was brilliant and really cool person. I like the fact that he speaks Tongan and he can relate to them more. I like how he identified power in cultures and how art was taken by another country.
Culture was never something I gave much thought to growing up. But I learned that culture lets you understand other people and the reasons why they live the way they live. It can help you understand them and be more open minded towards people. It is the invisible bond that ties all different people together.
I grew up in a ghetto neighborhood located on Hill croft Avenue. Unlike most people who grew up in one house. We actually moved a lot. Growing up in Houston Texas as an African American male was very tough and challenging for me and my family. Growing up we didn’t have a lot of money and things was really hard for us. My mother was a very strong independent women who spoke very little English but still took care of us and made sure we had food in the table. My mother raised us Christian and we would go to church every single Sunday. My mother is south Sudanese she fled the war in 1998 and brought us into the United States. I was 1 years old when we arrived in Houston Texas. In the middle child of the family and I guess you can could call A mama’s boy because I never knew my dad. My mother never mentioned him to us, but I knew he was a deadbeat and that made me hate a lot of male authority figures growing up. At the age of 14 I lost my mother to high blood pressure. My life has never been the same after that day.
My brothers and I moved to Minnesota to go live with my mom’s sister. The transition was very hard for me because I still didn’t believe my mother was gone and I would never get a chance to ever get to see her again. My life changed so much even going to school and knowing I didn’t have any parents made me socially awkward and I didn’t feel like I was a normal teenage kids like the rest of the kids. The way I released my stress and anger was through basketball. The kids in my neighborhood always played sports after school and I would always compete with them. But in high school I started to take my talents seriously and I started getting a lot of attention from a lot of D1 schools. I hit a crazy growth spurt the end of my freshmen year going into my sophomore year I grew eight inches. I couldn’t believe how tall I was and I had to get used to having a foot on everybody I met. It wasn’t hard for me to make friends being tall actually made me become a people person because everybody would always ask how tall I am or if I play basketball.
Other Cultural Groups
Going to school with other races made me realize that other households weren’t struggling as much as my family was. I knew my family was just right below middle class. Compared to the other white kids I knew they were high class and their parents had degrees and a very good paying job. The white kids in my school would have the best supplies and clothes. My mother couldn’t afford to buy us a lot of clothes so we would have to buy clothes from Walmart. I could tell the Caucasian children never knew how it was to struggle because their parents made a lot of money. I also felt like I was less intelligent than the white children because why I was poor and came from nothing and my mother spoke little English. My school had a lot of races but the majority was the white people. The black kids would stay together and so would all the other minority races. I didn’t really see color growing up but I knew I couldn’t be friends with the white kids because I was so different from them and my mother would always tell me don’t get into any fight with anybody and try to make friends with everybody but I knew she didn’t fully understand my situation. The African Americans kids and Mexican kids would be the only race getting in trouble at school. The Caucasians were pretty intimated by their behavior that they assume every black person acts that way.
My mom would discipline any one of us if we would get in trouble at school. I always thought there was a difference with discipline between black and white parents but I don’t know if I totally agree with them. Those disciplinary differences between races are not always accurate. I think it has more to do with culture. I always assume that black people in the US are unable or unwilling to sell out the white man’s society. That white people never would know what struggling feels like. For white people in the “black” area fear is: of the unknown, fear of being fooled, fear of saying the wrong thing and then feeling guilty when they do it. For me, a well button-down businessman, cannot even touch the street I was raised in or in other predominately black hoods in America. The difference I seen when I came to Utah is that a lot of people wouldn’t lock their doors. Locking your door in the hood is a must because you will get robbed. I feel like white people in nice neighborhood take safety for granted and they assume nothing would happen to them in many ways that’s true because I feel like poverty brings violence and growing up in the hood I would see a lot of families struggling with maintaining their house or even providing a safe home for their children.
One thing I learned growing up is that not all white people are racist or are there not rich people who don’t have feelings and emotions like myself. I met a white boy in my middle school class that I got along with and we would hang out every day. I finally had a chance to meet his mom and like my mother they were both single parents and didn’t have that much. There are intolerant people of every race. Everyone thinks they are entitled to put down others just because it’s their “opinion”. Living in the hood I would see a lot of putting each other and not trying to help on another. I lived in the US pretty much my life and I love this country but from the beginning there has been racism here and it still hasn’t changed. My perspective of white people being more intelligent and not having the same struggled as myself disappeared that day because I knew I was just like my Caucasian friend. We both had similar backgrounds but just different skin color. For me growing up family was very important to me because we didn’t have much and I felt like that brought us together because that’s when we needed each other the most? When I see white people I feel there values are much different than mines because I always thought there values are money because they would work all the time and have very nice stuff. Now that I’m older I value education a lot and I know a lot of my classmates that are Caucasian also value education.
Sources of Cultural Knowledge
Growing up I never interacted with a lot of white people or even came in contact because where I lived was predominately black. When I moved to Minnesota I had to adjust to the change. I was the only black person in my classes and a lot of the white kids would be nice to me and want to be my friend. I’ve never really been bothered about being the only black in my school. In a way I represent the whole African American community to them. I have never had issues with any of the white kids in my school. There have been, however, those who’ve had problems with me because I’m black. The media really made me look at white people in a certain way and caused a really big protest called Black Lives Matter. With the recent deaths of Alton sterling and Philando Castile, I have noticed a lot of hate towards white people. I have seen many channels on YouTube that’s dedicated to hate of white people. In the hood I know most of the police officers that are responsible for the deaths of the people living in the hood are white. My mom always told me not all white people are bad and I believe her. It angers me to see the actions of an officer reflect on an entire white race. As child my mother would always remind us to be humble and not let money get in control of us. In my neighborhood growing up I would see black people living in the streets and the white people living in fancy houses outside the hood. That made me really angry because I hated being poor. My assumption growing up was that America is run by rich government who purposely make laws difficult for minorities to become successful in life white people get hired for job more and get paid really well. On an average they do get paid more. But now that I’m older I slowly realized there not all “wealthy”. The media seems to be more focus on white America than minorities. People would rather watch a news about a white women and her baby than a missing minority. Its only black unarmed killings that get into the world news. Armed and unarmed people are killed all the time. However, if they are black the media call it racist and cause a massive explosion of press coverage, outrage and it’s a good story. If an armed white person being shot by an armed white person the media wouldn’t air that because to them it isn’t a good story and people don’t care. Since trump has been elected there is a never ending supply of videos and recordings of rabid racist who now feel they have some kind of mandate to spew there ignorant hatred. I have personally felt a divide between groups in America ever since trump became president. In the ghetto where I lived when black people didn’t have a lot to live off they would resort to crimes and schemes to make money to survive and escape poverty, even if they risk their freedom. When whites are down and out, they give up on life. In my neighborhood there were a few homeless white people and one of them committed suicide and the other gave up on life. It is more of a social economic problem for me. The black people continue to live in self-defeating traditions. Women having kids without a daddy and daddies who will not stand up and be a man. I see this consistently in my hood and it’s frustrating because I know how it feels. The black children are doomed to poverty and repeating the same mistakes as their parents. When I was child I knew from an early age what segregation looks like. Many whites by my neighborhood live there whole life not interacting with blacks and I feel like a lot has of that had to do with the media because it portray us an uncivilized and not human. Black men are seen as lazy and deadbeat and uneducated. We do something good and it’s rarely recognized and when we commit a crime or anything of that nature we are given more a punishment than a white person of race. A white person in my eyes will get a better deal and less of charges for committing a crime. Money plays a big part in that because in my neighborhood. The white people never went to jail and if they did they would get out in no time. African American that get into the system will stay in that cycle until they are dead or back in jail.
My experiences with other culture group has been pretty good. My family is made up of people from many different cultures so I appreciate other cultures. I don’t agree with cultural appropriation or mocking a culture but I’m open to experiencing both the good and bad of other cultures. After writing this paper I want to know more about my Sudanese culture and also I want to take classes to speak my native language. I feel like that’s important for my kids to know their roots and I would like to one day teach them the Sudanese language.
My thoughts on English laws is that English shouldn’t be the only language allowed for our laws one reason I feel like that is that people from other countries are will feel discriminated. It’s an unfair disadvantage for those who aren’t from the US and just moved here. We should be able to accommodate those who are not from here. They should be able to have that right. its hard for the adult immigrants to learn how to write and read in English. Some of my family are immigrants, it was really for the parents and older generation to adapt to everything especially the laws and it didn’t help that’s it’s in English. This weekend I’m going to be going to a Christian company that houses Sudanese refugees it’s called because he loved us first in Salt Lake City. I’m glad to get this opportunity to work with them and see how it is.