Friday, April 8, 2011

Weekend Weather

Go figure ... last weekend our friends couldn't join us at the lake because they had to work so we made plans with them to hit the lake together tomorrow instead.  According to the weather man (and looking out the window) I'm starting to think that's not going to happen.  It's probably just as well because I am going to start my final for my math class today, I've combed the prep chapter like a 14 year old boy with a Hustler so I think I'm finally ready and I'm running out of time.  The test isn't timed so on the one hand I probably should have started on it on Monday so I had all week to work on it but, on the other hand, I'm really nervous and I wanted to make sure I spent lots of time studying and prepping for it.  It's time to open it up and see what it holds.  The good news is if I get to a spot that I don't remember from the book I can actually close the test and come back to it any time I want.

But I also have to write a 3,000 word final essay on ethnicity concerns in my community and I literally have no idea where to start with that.  I'm blind to race, really.  I don't have any racism in even small amounts anywhere in my entire body but this paper wants me to address issues of racism that are local to Las Vegas and, for the life of me, I can't think of any!  This is a very diverse city representing all cultures and walks of life and, to my knowledge, there haven't really been any breaking news stories regarding racism or prejudice here lately.  But I can't very well write a paper on how un-biased Vegas is right?  I think this class is stupid.  Every time I've ever had a class in the past that I thought was dumb I eventually ended up enjoying it by the end but this is the last week and I still think that this class is dumb.  It's not hard, I'm acing it all the way but it's still lame.

I will try to give a brief explanation of why it sucks without going into too much detail.  The world insists that humanity should be blind to race and treat people as individuals based on their own actions right?  And I agree with that 100,000%.  But every time these classes and studies on race come up it feels like someone is trying to remind society that people are different based on their race which is absurd.  Racial studies create racism and stereotypes I think.  Like the poverty study published in our textbook.  How does knowing which race has the highest poverty rate help solve that poverty rate?  I refuse to believe that any race of individuals has an inherent proclivity to being poor so saying "Purple people have the highest poverty rate" causes people to form prejudicial ideas about purple people.  Maybe purple people are lazy and that's why they're all so poor.  Horse hocky!  There are poor people in the world, full stop.  Now what can we (as a society, not a government) do about it?  Anyhow ... enough of my political ramblings.  I hope we do find life on other planets - maybe then Earth will become like it is in StarTrek and we'll realize just how much we're all the same instead of worrying about how we're different.

Math Final Exam: 53.5 / 56.0.  GROOVY BABY!  Not my final score for the whole class, just the final exam.  Won't know final grade probably until next week but this is definitely going to help bring up that A- ... though not sure if it will bring it up enough to make it an A

6 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
24 mini wheat biscuits
>>1/2 cup milk
1 serving leftover margarita chicken
>>no black beans though :(
1 healthy choice meal (supper)
1 Tbsp peanut butter
Daily Caloric Intake: 863


  1. I agree with you.

    In my view, *most* things based on race are completely bass-ackwards.

    MLK did a wonderful thing by trying to unite the races of America.

    His successors, however, have done the opposite: everything they do is an attempt to remind the minority that they are different from the majority.

    It's sad; we could have racial-equality if it weren't for those who hide behind that label all the while working to keep us divided.

  2. Yes I agree that MLK was a great man with an exceptionally great vision. On the one hand I wish that he had not been killed because he may have succeeded in bringing about the kind of equality and compatriotism that he had in mind. On the other hand had he not been assassinated the civil rights movement might have taken much longer than it did to have an affect. His death was certainly a significant catalyst. One good thing that came from the class what that I did learn some great things about history ... I just think that those things were not presented very well from a historical perspective and in many a class discussion I felt very strong undertones of racism from nearly all of my classmates. It was a very uncomfortable class to be in. Thank goodness it's over.

  3. Of course I wasn't in your class so I don't really know; but it's been my observation that people's definition of racism can vary quite a bit.

    For example: illegal immigration is a pretty hot topic here in Utah right now. Most proponents (of curbing illegal immigration) are not actually racist (2 of the most vocal proponents I personally know are legal 1st- and 2nd-gen immigrants from Ireland and Vietnam); but opponents of illegal immigration contend that the simple-fact of someone wanting to observe the law and make sure those coming here are good law-abiding types, that that equals racism. It doesn't, of course, as demonstrated by my white Irish and brown Vietnamese friends; race has nothing to do with the argument.

    Another example: there is a huge movement (the "TEA party") in this country to cut back on gov't spending and scale-back what many view as socialist-policies. For the simple fact that the current President supporting big-spending and arguably socialist-policies is a black guy, many people allege that the TEA party is "inherently" and "subtly" racist. But racism has nothing to do with it; the argument is applied as equally to white big-government-types as it is to black-big-government-types. Most people actively participating in the TEA party have become aware of the similar-contributions that Pres. Bush made for big-government and are more or less as critical of his presidency as they are the current one. The argument has nothing to do with race; and this is demonstrated by the many black folk that align themselves with the TEA party to varying degrees.

    But oftentimes people see racism where it is not. Other times people simply read more into it than is perhaps 'real'; as my Vietnamese-friend says, "everyone is racist/prejudice against something; it's human nature". And as I always amend, "true, but what matters is whether or not you act on your racism and treat someone unfairly due to your own inbred-prejudice."

    The point is, you can't help whether or not you prefer milk-chocolate or dark-chocolate. It's impossible for the world to be color-blind; it's part of the human condition. What matters is whether or not you act against someone for no substantive-reason other than your own preference.

    So we all harbor prejudices.

    For that reason, I try and steer clear of judging someone as racist unless they come right out and do/say something blatantly racist and with unmistakable-intent.

    To "feel very strong undertones of racism from nearly all of [your] classmates" is evidence that you were most likely reading more into the matter than was justified. Most people hypersensitive to a subject can't discuss that subject without very easily feeling like someone making a point of minor disagreement is secretly harboring a big opposition.

    Like I said, I wasn't there.
    But I've lived among the most varied cultures in the world. It's my observation that while most people do have prejudices, most are not actually racist (defined as someone who would treat someone unfairly based on their own prejudice).


    On the original topic: *speed* of the movement should not be weighed equally with the *result* of the movement. MLKs death should not be viewed as somehow "justified" because it sped-up the movement. First, if the *result* of what he was trying to achieve was retarded by his death, then the *speed* of the change is less-meaningful. Second, the individual (as Rand taught) is the "absolute smallest minority"; his death was the absolute-price paid by the smallest-minority -- and cannot be justified just because the collective gained. It's a fallacious-argument. The problem is that people want "theirs" *now*; they have a hard time realizing that in order to get something of value, the price has to be paid. Oftentimes that means we have to delay what we want today for what we'd prefer to have tomorrow.

  4. I am aware of and on your side of the fence regarding the immigration debate. I really don't care if the illegal immigrant is a blond haired, blue eyed, fun loving, 8 year old little girl from Switzerland. The word illegal still stands.

    But as a Caucasian woman I felt like the class was designed by someone who was racist against Caucasians. Every week we picked a different race of people and discussed all the horrible, terrible, unfair things that white people did to them. Not that I am saying history isn't important but to form an entire 9 week class based on the historical mistakes of a single race against pretty much every other race on the planet stung a little. Every class would compare income levels and education levels of every other race to that of Caucasians and basically made it look like Caucasians are more educated and wealthy than any other race on the planet and that's because Caucasians have oppressed every other race on the planet and prevented them from getting ahead. Ugh ... they had an end of class anonymous survey posted to the public forum yesterday and I filled it out.

  5. Oh and re: feeling undertones of racism from classmates. It really wasn't that I disagreed with them on anything ... I agree whole heartedly with them in fact. Not that I thought that they were racist against races other than their own but that they too started to feel like the reading assignments were racist. You started to see a lot of comments in the discussions along the lines of "if someone tried to create the United Caucasian College Fund they'd be called racist" and "oh goody, another week of talking about how non-minority Americans (aka white people) are the biggest playground bullies ever" and "is anyone else starting to wish they weren't white?" (Those are actual quotes from three different members of my class that I just went back and pulled from the forum (and none of those were posted by me). See what I mean?

  6. aaaaahhh... now I see your point. Well-made. I've been in classes like that, too, though probably not to the extent of yours (from the sound of it).

    I took a PoliSci class and it was awesome; the instructor was knowledgable, the material was solid, the topics were wide and varied. I really couldn't complain. But we did spend a few weeks talking about "liberation theology". And, while interesting, and some valid points were made, it was a very difficult few weeks for the same reason you expressed; no mention of the fact that other races have enslaved and killed as well, no mention that the founders of our nation were between a rock and hard place with regards to trying to figure out a way to maintain the nation's independence and stability while also abolishing slavery (something most of our notable fathers wanted), no mention of the incredible progress this nation made in a historically very-short period of time -- just several weeks of bash-on-whitey.

    I don't regret learning about it; but it was brutal and I view it as mostly nonsense. If liberationists wanted equality/fairness, they wouldn't go out of their way to teach hatred and separationism.

    The problem is that many people have a natural-affinity for siding against a powerful-entity for no reason other than that entity has power and for siding with a weak-entity for no reason other than that entity does not have power. It's a human-phenomenon called "underdogmatism" and is the responsible-fuel for many of our social-ills.

    It's too bad that everyone of every background can't just see themselves and others as plain old "Americans".

  7. Precisely! If we're really going to stop using race as a smoke screen for fear and insecurity (my personal opinion by the way is that people who truly are racist are just insecure ... kind of like the playground bully who picks on other kids so that he can feel better about himself) we have to just stop acknowledging race altogether. That was the basis of my StarTrek comment. We're human. End of story. That's how it in StarTrek. There are different species like Human, Vulcan, Bolian, Romulan, Klingon etc. but race no longer exist because humanity finally realized how much they all had in common. I know it's just a Sci-Fi TV show but the principle of it speaks to me. Whether there is other life out there or not ... when will we learn that we're all the same species. When was the last time you saw Chocolate lab go after a Golden Retriever because of the color of his fur? This is why I like dogs more than humans.