Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Quiz #6 The Heritage Preservation Association Website

The website I chose to do my quiz on was The Heritage Preservation Association ( The purpose of this site is for “people of all races, countries, religions and political affiliations who share our love for the heritage of the American South and encourage them to join us in the fight against cultural censorship.” In other words, the people on this site or rather the members of the site are not trying to promote hatred of any kind and just want people who share the same values as them to join them in their fight for “justice.”

I chose this site because the word “preservation” made it sound like the members of this organization were working towards a positive and great goal. Upon entering the site I noticed it was very plain with links to other information regarding their site and what they stand as well as the history of the American South. But the one thing that really popped out at me when I first got onto the site was in the left-top corner there is, what I believe to be, their group/member crest or logo. It is of a shield with the United States flag being held high on the left side of it and the Confederate flag being held high on the right side. Underneath it is their name, The Heritage Preservation Association. Also, they have a motto which is, “Guarding our future, by preserving our past.”

I found the people on this site to be what Tara McPherson stated as “neo-rebels.” I say this because on the site under the “About HPA” they state they are not “Neo-Confederates.” Instead they say how they are, “We are peace-loving, patriotic Americans who love our country and are tired of seeing the censorship and abolition of Southern heritage in the name of "political correctness". Basically, members of HPA do not want to see their Southern heritage disappear because of the government or politics socially constructing everyone to be home they want them to be. I find this interesting because of the fact that they state they are not neo-confederates; yet, they are against the United States government’s way of running things here. It just seems that the neo-confederates and the neo-rebels are both working towards a similar, if not the same, goal but they just have different approaches in obtaining it. In a sense, this reminds me of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. Both men were working towards obtaining the same goal but they too had different approaches in getting it. Dr. King was about non-violence and Malcolm X went about getting things done by any means necessary. I think both sets of groups, the neo-confederates and rebels and Dr. King and Malcolm, are very much alike.

I felt as though this site was very interesting due to I had never seen a confederate, or neo-rebel site before. I didn’t even know they existed but then again on the web everything pretty much exists. I think I am going to look further into these sites McPherson mentions and further analyze them. I am happy I had to do this assignment because it opened my eyes in a whole new light.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Why I Hate Abercrombie & Fitch

In the article written by Dwight McBride, Why I Hate Abercrombie & Fitch, I found the thesis to be “Abercrombie has worked hard to produce a brand strongly associated with a young, white, upper-class, leisure lifestyle.” (66) What McBride is saying is that the Abercrombie & Fitch has developed their look to please and satisfy white people and to show their superiority. Abercrombie’s approach for marketing their clothing is to show what Americans are suppose to look like and that look reflects that of the upper-class whites.

McBride divided this article into four sections to better get the message across. First he begins with providing background information about Abercrombie & Fitch and how it came to be in existence. A&F first started off as being just Abercrombie & Co. until Ezra Fitch, a valued customer of the company came one day to David T. Abercrombie, owner of Abercrombie & Co., suggested entering a business partnership together. Initially the company was a sporting goods store for outdoorsmen. Upon entering their partnership and changing the name of the company to Abercrombie & Fitch they shared many arguments of how or if the company should further expand and how to go about doing it. After much arguing, Abercrombie resigned his position and Fitch expanded the company by starting with its goods and location. The company begin to boom with much success and supplying goods and equipment to a wide range of famous people. Even during these times, A&F appealed to upper-class white men and women which showed in their catalog. “The advertising from any of its early catalogs even adopts and innocent, idealistic Rockwellian aesthetic in many instances.” (64) Eventually, Fitch decided to retire from the company and even after his retirement the company continued to blossom. There were times where it faced bankruptcy and was bought and passed from many companies to others each hoping to get the company out of the decline it was in and make a profit. But it wasn’t until Michael Jeffries took over the company and remodeled it more to his likes. This brings me to McBride’s second segment of this article which is the “look” of A&F that Jeffries created. Jeffries created the “Look Book, this pocket size (3.5x5.5-inch and approximately 30-page-long) book.” (66) This book showcased eleven photos and four of them being group shots. In the group pictures, there were only two African American models and everyone else appeared to be of white descent. The guidelines for the look of an A&F Brand Representative is “For men and women, a neatly combed, attractive, natural, classic hairstyle is acceptable. Any type of ‘fade’ cut (more scalp is visible than hair) for men is unacceptable. Shaving of the head or any portion of the head or eyebrow for men or women is unacceptable. Dreadlocks are unacceptable for men and women.” (70) Based on these guidelines which were created in the 1990s prevented the majority of black men from getting a job from here due to many wore the fade and shaved type of hairstyles A&F found to be unacceptable. Also, McBride makes mention of earrings and jewelry which the company found to be unacceptable and these targeted the African American community once again. But this certain look brings me to McBride’s third segment of the article which focuses on the “corporate culture of Abercrombie as it is represented by its stores, managers, and brand reps.” (62) Within this segment, McBride talks about how many people were discriminated against as far as employment within the A&F company based on the fact they did not fit the “look” of the company and how many people were fired based on the fact they were ugly. Skills and being qualified has nothing to do with the company and people advancing in it. So, in conclusion, McBride ends the article with his third segment which is his analysis. “Abercrombie, through its strategy of marketing ‘the good white life’ in what is already a deeply racist society, has convinced a U.S. public—whites (some young and some not so young), some people of color, and gay men—that if we buy their label, we are really buying membership into a privileged fraternity that has eluded us all for so long, even if for vastly different reasons.” (85) So in other words, McBride is saying that A&F has ultimately created the American look and has, through its marketing and its idea of what the A&F Brand Rep should look like, created a company where people who buy clothing from here feel accepted by the majority or rather upper-class whites of America.

While reading this article I question, “Why people/minorities would continue to shop at a place as discriminatory as Abercrombie & Fitch.?” But then I kind of satisfied my question with the thought of how people still buy Tommy Hilfiger clothing. It has been rumored that Tommy Hilfiger said on the Oprah Winfrey show that he does not want minorities to buy his products. I thought of this when McBride mentioned how Banana Republic and Ralph Lauren share a similar marketing system of appealing to the “upper-class American lifestyle.” (72) He also mentioned that “Ralph Lauren ‘diversified’ its ad campaigns…” (73) As well as “attempts to market and sell that lifestyle [upper-class American lifestyle] to everyone equally.” (72) McBride stated how Ralph Lauren picked up Tyson Beckford as a model for its clothing line which is similar to Tommy Hilfiger having superstars like BeyoncĂ© having a perfume fragrance under his company’s name. Many minorities still refuse to purchase Tommy Hilfiger’s clothing based on rumors of him being racists but they will support the superstars under his company. Going back to my question of why people/minorities continue to purchase clothing from a company that doesn’t want us amazes me. It is not like there are any minorities within the A&F’s company which minorities would support. I guess the answer would be that they are trying to be more American so they can be or rather feel more accepted by the majority.

This article was interesting to me because McBride brought out points that I never thought about before. Also, being that I have never been in the store to shop further, in a sense, provides somewhat of an explanation as to why I never found it appealing. As I was reading this article I begun to realize how many stores within malls I have thought of to be for white people and how I found others to be for a mixture of people.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Takaki Chapter 7 “Foreigners in their native land: Manifest Destiny in the Southwest.”

1. How did this group come to be in the U.S.? How much of this was “by choice” and how much as a result of pressure or force? Identify drivers or motivations for coming to be in the U.S.
• This was not a group of people that chose to become part of the United States. It was the U.S. that decided to come over to California and take what they felt should be theirs. Americans felt they were able to benefit and better utilize the resources that California provided than the Mexicans were able to do. It was also said that the Americans were “driven there by dreams of wealth and landownership generated by pamphlets and books about California. Determined to transform the territory into their own image.” (171) Meaning Americans became greedy and wanted more than what they already had and wanted to continue to expand the U.S. as much as they could. But only if it benefited them in someway; other non-Americans didn’t matter.

2. What is the significance of the title of the chapter?
• The significance of the title of this chapter is simply stating how the Mexicans felt during these transitions. Mexicans no longer felt like citizens of their lands and countries anymore. Instead they felt like foreigners in their own lands or rather as the title states, “Foreigners in Their Native Lands.” “Political restricting lessened the ability of Mexicans not only to claim their rights as citizens, but also to protect their rights as landowners.” (179) In other words, in the lands that once belonged to the Mexicans they were no longer considered citizens based on laws Americans placed.

3. What mechanisms of social construction are discussed in the chapter?
• In the beginning of this chapter, Takaki discusses that many Mexicans were slave owners and there slaves or laborers were the Indians. “Of ‘Pure Spanish blood,’ they formed the upper class. Below them was the laboring class. Racially, the laborers [went] down by regular shades, growing more and more dark and muddy with ‘pure’ Indians at the bottom rung.” (169) Takaki is saying that just like the how the white people were in America with their “majority” being the upper class and anyone who was not like them was lower or laboring class.

4. How did these groups resist discrimination and racialization?
• These groups resisted discrimination and racialization by repeatedly going out and going on strike in hopes to improve wages and being replaced “with lower-paid workers recruited from Juárez, Mexico.” (187) Because of these strikes some Mexican workers actually “won strike demands for a pay increase” (187) and more hours of work. These strikes were also a way for the Mexicans to prove the stereotypes which were placed on them as being wrong.

5. Give one example in the chapter of “race” and one example of “ethnicity.” What is the difference between the two as they are discussed here?
• One example of racial would be the “West Coast version of the ‘giddy multitude.’” Within this giddy multitude the Japanese and the Mexicans formed a union or organization together to better the lives of their people and their families. “Their strike, however, has demonstrated that Mexican laborers were ready to stand with fellow Japanese in movement based on interethnic class unity.” (189) This states that two different races can come together and fight for a justice they believe in without their race being an issue.
• One example of ethnicity would be Mexicans being discriminated against as far as wages or payment for their labor as well as being social. “Mowry declared, ‘[Mexicans] are docile, faithful, good servants, capable of strong attachments when firmly and kindly treated… They will always remain so, as it is their natural condition.” (187) In other words, Mowry was stereotyping all Mexicans as being a certain way or carrying a certain type of people. So anyone who looked to be of Spanish or Mexican descent was looked upon as being this way.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Frank Wu: Yellow

In regards to the quote from Wu, "As a member of a minority group everywhere in m country except among family or through the self-conscious effort to find other Asian Americans, I alternate between being conspicuous and vanishing, being stared at or looked through..." I can somewhat relate to him being a minority myself. Stereotypes is really something that destroys people's will to actually get to want to know a person. People I believe are too afraid to try to look outside of the box and instead they only compare or relate people to what they think they know.

Comic Book Cover No. 25 Rangers Comics: Doctor Death from Tokyo

I chose this comic book cover because I continue to find it interesting how the white women were portrayed as being helpless against minorities. This cover showcases a Japanese man getting ready to cut off the head of a white woman. The white woman is bond by her ankles and wrist to a wheel mechanism of some sort over a pit of fire. Then in the distance there is a white man who is there to rescue the damsel in distress. The man has some kind of rope with balls on the end which he has wrapped around the Japanese’s knife to prevent him from cutting the woman. Also, it seems as though the white man is holding a gun and is getting ready to use it if he needs to against the Japanese. The white woman is showed as looking to be very clean and dressed very nicely. Her hair is perfect with no strand out of place and she has the lovely golden blonde hair that many white women are infamous for. The Japanese man looks somewhat deranged and scary. In this comic cover, the Japanese man favors a gorilla or ape by the face. The white man looks to be just an average Joe but in the uniform. He doesn’t appear to be any type of superhuman with powers.

The damsel in distress reminds me of things we have discussed in class. During the video of Ethic Notions they showed a snippet of Birth of a Nation where a black man was chasing a white woman. The white woman felt that it would be better to just end her own life than to fall in the heads of the black man. So in the movie she jumped from the cliff as the black man got closer. This comic book cover relates in the aspect that after they white men of the country found out what happened to the white woman it caused a war against the black men and white men. The above comic showcases the same thing with the exception of it being a black man. Instead this shows that white women are in danger of all minorities. The Japanese is also looked upon as being an animal like that of the black man. As I mentioned before, his facial features are similar to those of an ape or gorilla. Also, this comic cover goes against the initial views of how Americans viewed the Japanese. In chapter 10 of Takaki, he mentions that the Japanese were thought to be the “model minority” but just like during their times of work in Hawaii with their protests they proved otherwise. This comic cover shows them in a different light as well. It shows they are not the quiet, passive people that don’t start trouble.

In my opinion, I feel as though this comic cover amazes me. I never knew comics books also were a source of advertising racism. I find this to be very saddening because the minds of children were being polluted with things the “man” wanted them to feel and see. I think being surrounded by racism and hate would be enough but to pollute the minds of innocence and not give them the chance to feel how they want is wrong. I think it is wrong that Americans, even today, label a group of people for the actions done by only some. We have to look through the eyes of our “enemy” understand why they are the way they are, how they view us, and what makes them the different and the same as us. We need to stop fearing each other and start to enjoy each others company because no one is going anywhere anytime soon.

Monday, October 22, 2007

How Jews Became White Folks and What that Says about Race in America

The thesis for How Jews Became White Folks and What that Says about Race in America by Karen Brodkin, to be “I tell this story to show the institutional nature of racism and the centrality of state policies to creating and changing races.” (39) Brodkin is stating that it took for policies to be created and some races to be outcaste in order for other races to gain superiority as well as certain privileges over other races.

She starts off the article with stating her feelings about learning about the history of America and how even certain people within the white class was classified as being inferior to its own kind. She stated how her parents found this not to be much of a surprise because “they expect anti-Semitism to be part of the fabric of daily life….” (38) Brodkin did not believe that Jews got most of their success “due to [Jews] own efforts and abilities, reinforced by a culture that valued sticking together, hard work, education, and deferred gratification.” (38) Instead, she believed most of the success Jews obtained was to due to Affirmative Action. In other words, the privileges which one race was not able to obtain due to laws that were issued, entitled other races those privileges. In America everything was based on superiority and inferiority. In 1916, Madison Grant who was author of The Passing of the Great Race “popularized notions developed by William Z. Ripley and Daniel Brinton that there existed three of four major European races, ranging from the superior Nordics of northwestern Europe to the inferior southern and eastern races of the Alpines, Mediterraneans, and worst of all, Jews.” (40) Grant was saying that there is only one race which was superior to all other races and that was pure Nordics. Every other race was looked as to be inferior and lower class. Post World War II was when a lot of changes begun. New laws for housing and employment begun to surface but these laws applied to everyone of the white race which ultimately included Jews and other European immigrant groups which were once outcast as being inferior to upper class white. The newly created laws exile African Americans and caused them to have a much more difficult time obtaining housing as well as employment and sufficient education. Brodkin states how these new laws and programs which were created post World War II made it “that white men of northwest European ancestry and white men of southeastern European ancestry were treated equally in theory and in practice with regard to the benefits they received, was part of the larger postwar whitening of Jews and other eastern and southern Europeans.” (49) The benefits, laws, programs and privileges which were obtained by all whites including Jews brought them together more as a people. The privileges Jews obtained allowed them to further advance in America whereas the government only offered African Americans “cement boots of segregation, redlining, urban renewal, and discrimination.” (50) If it wasn’t for African Americans being discriminated against Jews might not have gotten their privileges so easily is what Brodkin felt.

Brodkin stated, “I want to suggest that Jewish success is a product not only of ability but also of the removal of powerful social barriers to its realization.” (39) I agree with Brodkin completely because throughout the entire article there was no mention of how Jews fought or protested against things they found to be unfair to their people. African Americans actually had to fight whether it was physical or verbal or non-violent to get the little “equality” we have today. Instead, Jews obtained much of their success due to upper-class Americans trying to keep African Americans from advancing and climbing the social, political, and economic ladders. Brodkin said that she and her brother now own their own homes whereas prior to World War II and all the privileges they obtained it would not have been possible. She said, “The truth is that affluence has been the exception and that real upward mobility has required massive affirmative action programs….” (50) In other words, someone has to be kept out of the circle in order for others to gain.

This article was interesting because it gave me the opportunity to learn about Jews. Upon reading this I realized that grade school, at least the one I attended, did not make much reference to Jews. I found myself doing a little more research about Jews and certain things Brodkin made reference to in this article so I could get a better understanding of what she was talking about. I found it interesting how Jews and other lower class European immigrants gained their acceptance in the United States by the government neglecting the same acceptance to African Americans.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Ethics of Living Jim Crow: An Autobiographical Sketch (Extra Credit)

Richard Wright’s thesis in The Ethics of Living Jim Crow: An Autobiographical Sketch is, “My first lesson in how to lie as a Negro came when I was quite small.” (22) Wright is saying that he had to learn the dos and the don’ts, the rights and the wrongs when it came to being a black person in the south facing much segregation.

Wright starts off with telling how when he was a young kid he and his friends would have cinder battles. Where he stayed the grass was never green. Actually, according to Wright, nothing was green. The only green that could be found or seen was located at or near the homes of the white people. It wasn’t until he and his gang of friends were in war with the white children that he realized the advantages of having grass, trees, and hedges. During the war, Wright and his fellow comrades were being beaten. Their cinder alone was nothing compared to the broken bottles and objects the white children had. So they begun to retreat to the pillars of their homes but before Wright could make it back he was struck in the back of the head with broken milk bottle and had to get three stitches. Wright waited for his mother to return home from so he could tell her what happened. He knew she would help him figure out what to do next and she would understand. But instead, he received a whopping that caused him to get a fever of one hundred and two. It was doing this whopping that Wright’s mother instilled in him the “gems of Jim Crow wisdom.” (23) She told him to “never, never, under any conditions to fight white folks again.” (23) Also, she told him that he was lucky and should be thankful they didn’t kill him. As time went on, Wright encountered many other incidents which he had to be careful of what he said, did, and how he looked at white people. There were times even after his war he had with the young white kids when he was lucky to have been alive due to his actions. Most of the knowledge Wright obtained in regards to Jim Crow laws were gained while he was working for white people.

One question I had regarding this article was one in which Wright asked, “How do Negroes feel about the way they have to live?” (31) Wright answered this question by quoting a friend of his that ran an elevator, he said, “Lawd, man! Ef it wuzn’t fer them polices ‘n’ them ol’ lynch-mobs, there wouldn’t be nothin’ but uproar down here!” (31) It seems as though black people kind of content with the way things were. When Wright told his co-workers what had his bosses did to an old black woman while he was working as a porter in a clothing store all they said was, “Shucks! Man, she’s a lucky bitch!” (11) Then he took another bite of his hamburger. Even though stuff like this was things some black people were used to, it makes me wonder why no one stopped to say we have to do something about this. Even today, when injustice happens to someone of the black race we get together and state we don’t like what is going on. I know the times are different now but there were enough black people to fight back, at least in my opinion.

I found this article to being interesting because this was the actual trials and tribulations a person went through to survive during the times of Jim Crow. I would’ve never thought it would be as difficult as it was for Wright to survive post slavery. I mean in the sense that black people didn’t know what they could and couldn’t do during those times. I found it to be sad that even after slavery they had to still go through many injustices and unfair treatment. But I believe that it is because of these struggles black people had to face that make us such a strong race.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Slavery Without Submission, Emancipation Without Freedom

I found thesis in Zinn’s “Slavery Without Submission, Emancipation Without Freedom” to be, “It would take either a full-scale slave rebellion or a full-scale war to end such a deeply entrenched system.” What Zinn is saying here is that in order for slavery to come to an end, something which may have a big impact on the United States would have to occur in order for a change to come about.

Zinn speaks of many different aspects of slavery in this chapter. He begins of telling how many slaves and free blacks attempted to abolish slavery. Many of the incidents which occurred were of slaves uniting and rebelling against slave owners and masters a like. Many died to hands of whites for their participation in these rebellions. Whites of the Southern states tried hard to keep slavery the way it was but with the steady growing number of free educated blacks in the Northern states grew the desire for slaves to obtain the same. In the North, blacks were able to obtain an education, work as well as own their own stores. Eventually, Abraham Lincoln got into office and many Southern Whites believed he sided on the abolishment of slavery so they made their states separate from that of the Northern portion of the United States. Lincoln supported the Union, which were the Northern States which held free blacks, and gave the Confederate States an ultimatum to join back with the Union or war will begin. Thus, the Civil War begun and it was during this time which Lincoln issued the Emancipation of Proclamation and freed the slaves in the United States. “In July of 1862 Congress passed a Confiscation Act, which enabled the freeing of slaves of those fighting in the Union.” (142) This is stating that any black that fought with the Union became a free man. The Union used this as a way of recruiting more blacks to fight in order to better their chances of winning the war. Yet, after the Emancipation of Proclamation was issued “400,000 signatures asking legislation to end slavery had been gathered and sent to Congress, something unprecedented in the history of the country. That April, the Senate had adopted the Thirteenth Amendment, declaring an end to slavery, and in January 1865 the House of Representatives followed.” (143) This means based on the togetherness of the citizens of the United States, slavery came to end. Although, the battle was over recovering was just beginning. Blacks still were not treated equal to their white counterparts. Many laws were created then taken away offering equality to everyone despite color. This would be another long battle for Blacks.

Upon reading the information regarding Abraham Lincoln, I begun to question, why we have a memorial in his honor for ending slavery and issuing the Emancipation Proclamation? To honor such a man is almost wrong because technically he didn’t do anything. Lincoln’s choice to abolish slavery was not one made with slaves or rather African Americans in mind instead it was to benefit himself and his position. Lincoln’s reply to Horace Greenley, whom at the time was editor of the New York Tribune, was one which showed his disinterest in slavery. Lincoln stated, “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy Slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it….” (142) It was later said that if slaves were not freed then the Union could’ve and more than likely would’ve lost the war. It just seems as though we shouldn’t celebrate or honor the life of a man who cared less about the outcome of slaves. Instead of having his memorial there in Washington, D.C. it should be one of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. These two were people who were assassinated for more of a just reason and cause than Lincoln.

I found this reading to be repetitive from previous readings. A lot of what was here in this article by Zinn was mentioned in the novel “Kindred” as well as previous article written by Zinn. This is not to say I didn’t find it informative because I did. I was really fascinated to learn of all the people who assisted to abolish slavery. It was good to learn of different names than those popular individuals we learn about in grade school. Also, I enjoyed learning that it was more than just blacks helping slaves; that white people assisted in the struggle as well.

Monday, October 8, 2007


The main objective of this novel was for a woman to make sure her ancestor would be born in order for her own existence. The woman must make sure that a plantation owner grows old enough for her slave ancestor and him to conceive. Also, the woman is to learn more about herself, her ancestors, and slavery. She has to learn the hardships of being a slave and also learn how to put your hate to the side in order to save the life of someone else. Human is human no matter the race or skin color.

The novel starts off with a black woman, Dana Franklin who lived in California with her husband a white man named Kevin Franklin during the year 1976. Dana and Kevin had just moved into their new home and was unpacking when Dana begun to feel faint. She passed out and found herself in some woods seeing a young boy in the water drowning. She rushes into the water to save him and rushes back to shore where she spots the boy’s mother. She brings the boy back to life only to turn around and have the boy’s father have a gun pointed directly in her face. Due to her fear she finds herself awaken in her home again with Kevin after only having been passed out for a few seconds. But when she awakens she finds that she is no longer in the same spot she was when she passed out. Dana later learns that the boy she saved was her great great grandfather and that wouldn’t be her last time seeing him. The young boy’s name was Rufus Weylin and he was at first the son of a slave owner. Rufus later becomes in charge of the plantation and become a slave master as his father once was due to his father’s death from a heart attack. Dana often time traveled between her time of 1976 and Rufus’ time of 1819 to save Rufus or rather show up whenever he was near death. Without his survival she wouldn’t had been able to exist. Her great great grandmother, Alice Greenwood, was a free woman like her mother when she was younger but as she got older she too became a slave like so many other blacks during that time. Alice hated Rufus because he attempted to rape her once and her husband beat him almost to death until Dana showed and prevented him from doing so. Alice and her husband ran away towards a freedom state but to no avail because they would eventually get caught and Rufus would go and buy Alice to make her his permanently. Although, Rufus loved Alice and didn’t really show it the way normal people would have she blamed him for her husband being beaten and sold away far from her. Eventually Rufus and Alice ended up having sexual relations by no choice of Alice and they had two children together. Dana eventually convinced Rufus of making his and Alice’s children, Joe and Hagar, free blacks because she felt he owed them that much since he drove Alice to commit suicide. Rufus tried to convince Dana not to leave and go back to her time but it was to no avail. Eventually she had to kill the monster which held a lot lives in the palm of its hands. She stabs Rufus a few times in the attic of his home with dying while still gripping her arm. When she returns back to her world she finds her arm stuck in wall as though it was grown from the in the exact spot where Rufus held her. Alice had the opportunity to better understand her family history, slavery, and she discovered things about herself she never knew was there until she was put into a certain situation.

While reading this novel, one question continuously kept popping up in my head. If many African Americans or just really any race for that matter had to endure the hardships that slaves had to would we be able to survive? I ask this in the sense that after we have become to luxuries we have today and it was all taken from us would be able to survive and make due with the little we had or the beatings that were giving? Honestly, I would have to say no. People now-a-days have become very lazy and I mean this for blacks, whites, Asians, Chicanos, Latinos, and just people in general. I think people have forgotten the true meaning of hard work. We complain about going to work to answer phones, or file papers, or even serve people with a smile and ask them “Good Afternoon, welcome to McDonald’s how may I help you?” As the years pass humans try to find more and more ways of inventing things or having machines do work we can do. Slaves were able to cook, work long hours without pay, help each other out during times of need and so forth on a day to day basis. No one helps anyone but their selves anymore and everyone only thinks of them instead of working together and accomplishing so much more. With that being said I do realize one thing we still have in common with the nineteenth century is that we still look at skin color as a way of determining who can benefit who. White people are very hesitant to hire Black people because they are thought of to be lazy and still thought of to be not as intelligent as White people so many. It has been said black people don’t take their jobs seriously and whites are a little too stiff and serious about their jobs. Also, Mexicans and other Spanish ethnicities will pretty much work for anything. This novel opened my eyes to things we take for granted everyday. Being half African American and half Puerto Rican, I realized the one thing we take for granted everyday and that is simply our freedom. We don’t have to any longer worry about answering to someone else and being punished for not obeying. We all need to open our eyes and appreciate what we have.

This novel was the best novel I have ever had to read for a class. I did not want to put the novel down but the only thing that caused me to do so were engagements I had back at home. I found this novel to be so informative and made me wonder “What if…?” quite a bit. I thought it was kind of strange at first how Dana was able to travel back and forth through time but eventually I got over it. I found myself having so many different emotions while reading this book. There was anger, happiness, sorrow, worry and so many more. I am glad everything worked out and I am glad Dana went through it because I feel it helped her learn about herself a lot more and to learn to appreciate her life as well as that of her ancestors.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Takaki Chapter 3 "The 'Giddy Multitude'"

In Ronald Takaki’s Chapter 3, “The Giddy Multitude” I found the thesis to be “In Virginia, they became an even greater threat to social order, forming what the planter elite fearfully called a ‘giddy multitude’— a discontented class of indentured servants, slaves, and landless freemen, both white and black, the Stephanos and Trinculos as well as the Calibans of Virginia.” (63) What Takaki is saying here is that all of these people shared an otherness of their class. Although Stephano, Trinculo, and Caliban were part of a play they were the “blueprint” of how things would later play out involving indentured whites and blacks in Virginia.

In this chapter, Takaki begins with telling of slavery begun. He states that William Towrson once told of how “five ‘Negroes’ were transported to England where they were ‘kept till they could speak the language,’ and then they were taken back to Africa as translators for English traders.” (51) This was the first step for the Englishmen to create some form of communication with the Africans. Having translators made it easier for Englishmen to get their message and/or demands across to the Africans. Takaki also states that during the times of Shakespeare, people thought Africans had a “natural infection” due to their skin color. The color of Black people or rather the color black in general was thought of to be, “deeply stained with dirt,’ ‘foul,’ ‘dark or deadly’ in purpose, ‘malignant,’ ‘sinister,’ [and lastly] ‘wicked.” (51) Whereas being white gave off the opposite message or thought. The sad part of all of these stereotypes or thoughts which Englishmen came to construe was before the introduction of Africans to Virginia or rather the Americas which was contrary to Shakespeare’s play. Further on in this chapter, Takaki tells of the struggles which both Africans and white Englishmen faced during the times of indenture servants. He tells of how a past historian named Oscar Handlin had claimed Africans weren’t enslaved until sometime at or around the 1660’s. Instead he claims prior to the 1660 they were only viewed as indentured servants and treated in such a manner. In contradiction to Handlin’s comment regarding Africans or blacks, Alden T. Vaughan’s stated that around the 1650’s “70 percent of the blacks in Virginia were serving as slaves.” (57) Takaki also states in this chapter how both Whites from England and Africans were brought against their will to work for whites in Virginia. The white indentured workers and the Africans in America held a lot of hostility and fear for one another but after working for their masters for sometime they begun to share a bond and begun working together. Many of the white indentured workers and the Africans came together and came up with plans to escape. Many of them were caught and although both, indentured whites and Africans, were punished the Africans got the more harsher punishment with a much greater addition of “commitment” of working for the white masters added to the time they already had to serve. Takaki later states in this chapter how even though the slaves had converted from heathens to Christians, English colonists created laws which “declared that ‘no negro or Indian,’ though baptized and free, should be allowed to purchase Christians. The distinction was no longer between Christianity and heathenism or freedom and slavery, but between white and black.” (59) Based on this, Africans and Indians were allowed to share “the same God” as the English colonists but they were still not able to share the same rights and were looked upon as being inferior beings. In order to prevent further teamwork amongst indentured whites and Africans English colonists eventually freed the indentured whites of their duties as servants and gave them their own land, shillings, and slaves for themselves. There were some slave owners which felt guilt for participating in slavery and vowed that once his debt was cleared he would make the labor of his slaves easier. This person was Thomas Jefferson. His debt was never cleared so his promise was implemented. He and others realized that slavery not only affected the masters and the slaves but also the children of the slave masters. The children had no choice but to imitate what they saw which was that slavery was right.

After reading this chapter I had to question, whether the charge against Nathaniel Bacon was just? Since Bacon enlisted indentured whites to join forces with him to fight a war against the Indians he was labeled a rebel and charged with treason because it was against the warnings of Governor William Berkeley and his council. I find it amazing that this type mentality still exists in today’s society. Our government today still punishes those individuals who do not follow direct orders. For example, in the marines or army or etc if an individual is told not to do something or even if they are told to do something if they do not follow through with the necessary task they will be discharged even if the outcome of their actions results in something positive or the necessary goal. Berkeley I believe felt as though if people of his own kind wouldn’t follow his orders how could he expect those “lesser” than him to do the same. It is because of this I believe he “declared Bacon a rebel and charged him with treason, an act punishable by death.” (64) Based on this chapter and this incident I have come to realize that the English colonist used slavery as not only a means economically but also as a way to obtain power and control.

Within this chapter I have learned a lot of new information. I did not know of the giddy multitude. I never knew that at the beginning of slavery or being indentured servants, both blacks and whites, that both races came together to help the each other end the torment of work they had to endure everyday and to end the treatment of being treated less than a human being. Although, I hate reading Takaki this was a chapter that caught my attention for the most part and allowed me to broaden my thoughts about the beginning of slavery, the teamwork or whites and blacks, as well as the guilt that some masters felt in regards to slavery including Thomas Jefferson.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Getting Off the Hook: Denial and Resistance

In chapter 8, “Getting Off the Hook: Denial and Resistance” I have found Johnson’s thesis to be, “When you deny the reality of oppression, you also deny the reality of the privilege that underlies it which is just what it takes to get off the hook.”

Johnson begins Chapter 8 by stating that the way people find easiest to say or convince themselves they are not part of the problem is through denial. He tells how people in the “dominant groups practice this kind of denial, it rarely seems to occur to them that they’re in a poor position to know what they’re talking.” (109) People in this positions or rather those who are privileged have made up in their minds that they know more or better than the people who are actually experiencing the problems. Johnson uses the example of a child hurting themselves. Adults have the tendency to tell the child that it doesn’t really hurt that bad when in all actuality the adult has no idea what kind of pain the child is feeling. Johnson says this is because privileged people “are culturally authorized to interpret other people’s experience for them, to deny the validity of their own report, and to impose their views of reality.” (109) Also, privileged groups use this denial to makes those who are inferior to them seem as though they are “better off” than they are. Johnson also states that another way people get themselves off the hook is by blaming the actual individual or group of people as being the problem instead of themselves as having something to do with it. “The result of such thinking is that oppression is blamed on the people who suffer most from it, while privilege and those who benefit remains invisible and relatively untouched. And off the hook.” (111) Privileged people have convinced themselves through denial and calling privilege and oppression by other things that everyone including them are pleased with the way things are. But Johnson goes on to state how “the truth doesn’t matters because ideology isn’t about truth or accuracy. Rather, its purpose is to support and perpetuate the status quo by making it appear normal and legitimate.” (113) Johnson states that people normally do not see themselves as part of the problem as long as they had good intentions in the first place. Basically, since we are suppose to believe that if something goes wrong it is the individual whom is at fault and not society. “In other words, if something bad happens, someone’s conscious bad intentions must be behind it. A corollary is that if your intentions are good, they cannot result in something bad.” (114) People have a tendency of participating in the wrongs of the world without realizing they are doing it since that was not their conscious intention. We tend to cause harm to people without really acknowledging we did so and leave it so that the victim has to deal with the harm on their own. Even though many people may have good intentions and may be a good person but they are just as guilty as everyone else because of their lack of speaking out against the issues or problems which exist. Johnson speaks of himself as being a good person with good intentions but the reality of it all is that “my silence, my inaction, and especially my passive acceptance of the everyday privilege that goes along with group membership are all it takes to make me just as much a part of the problem as any member of the Klan.” (118) Because society has caused us to believe that we are individually responsible for our actions we become blinded by the fact that we are part of the problem. It is only when being in a social category benefits us do we want people to recognize us for it.

So, are people ever going to accept the responsibility of their actions as both an individual and as a social category? Based on what I have read from Johnson, I do not believe people will accept the responsibility and will continue to be in denial about the situations and issues which exist. “Trying to live off the hook puts members of the privilege groups inside a tight little circle that cuts them off from much of what it means to be alive.” (124) As long as privilege groups enjoy their treatment and not really come to terms as to their privileges things will continue to be the same. People are afraid of change. “The result of illusion and denial is to become like the person who loses the ability to feel pain and risks bleeding to death from a thousand tiny cuts that go unnoticed, untreated, and unhealed.” (124)

Once again I find Johnson to be a very interesting author with view points I have never thought about before. I knew of certain privileges which existed between blacks and whites but he put it into a different perspective. I find it that Johnson gives reasons to many peoples questions and observations about life. Although these are just his opinions or viewpoints rather, he is still supplying me with more than I started off with before reading this chapter.

What It All Has to Do With Us

In chapter 6, “What It Has to Do with Us” I have found Johnson’s thesis to be “To do something about the trouble surrounding privilege, power and difference, we have to talk about it, but most of the time we don’t, because it feels too risky.” (76) His main purpose of this thesis is that people as a whole are the problem and its not just individual people. So, until we are ready as a group to speak up about the problems which exist, they will not go away.

Johnson begins this chapter by talking about the differences between individualism and the idea that society has put into our heads that whatever happens is our own fault. In all actuality individuals are not the problem for not being able to speak up regarding certain issues instead it is society’s fault as to why we can’t do this. Johnson states how “individualistic thinking also makes us blind to the very existence of privilege, because privilege, by definition, has nothing to do with individuals, only with the social categories we wind up in.” (77) It is because of this that we as people or individualistic thinkers “leave no room to see, much less consider the role of privilege.” (77) It is only when we put ourselves in these types of mind settings do we make hard for us to talk about certain issues because we are somewhat part of the problem. For example, Johnson speaks about the paths of least resistance and how it affects the way we think. “The first process of socialization through which we learn to participate in social life… in short, from just about every direction we are exposed to ideas and images of the world and who we are in relation to it and other people.” (78) What Johnson is saying here is that we are the way we are because of the way we were brought up. This is not just speaking of how our parents raised up but also the things we observed on television or just simply from society. We learn how things are suppose to be, how we are suppose to act and also how we are suppose to feel about certain groups of people or just those who weren’t/aren’t like us. He also states “the second way we are shaped as individuals by participating in social systems is through what I call “paths of least resistance.”’ (80) This social system is one we do everyday because it is part of the norm. Johnson talks about how he tested this theory in an elevator. Normally upon entering an elevator people turn around and face the door. Johnson decided to have his back to the door and face the wall. He says he felt people looking at him and more than likely questioning within themselves what he was doing and what was wrong with him. This is an example of a path of least resistance which Johnson says “is there all the time— it’s built in to riding the elevator as a social situation— but the path wasn’t clear until [he] stepped onto a different one and felt the greater resistance rise up against it.” (80) We follow this path of least resistance everyday but until we are put into a situation where we find ourselves on a different path we do not notice that it exists. Johnson uses this in reference as well to privileges. Until we are put into a different situation or being compared to others do we realize the privileges we have.

Johnsons views arises one question, if we learn how to be and act from what we observe as we grow up, will the path of least resistance ever change? The answer I believe to be true is no. People have found it to be easier to sit back and say nothing rather than speak up and same something. So, if no one ever speaks up then nothing will ever change. Johnson made mention of how “people know alternative paths exists, but they stick to the path of least resistance anyway, because they’re afraid of what will happen if they don’t.” (81) So until we are ready to voice our opinions aloud in hopes that others feel the same and will join like the four African American students in Greensboro in 1960. Then nothing will ever change and we continue to have the same mentality we have now.

There were some things in this chapter I found to be very interesting that Johnson made mention to. Johnson has caused me to question my behavior in certain situations and has made me want to become more aware of how I act and how people react to it. Also, I almost want to go out and do my own “tests” and see what the results will become. Johnson is one of the few authors when told to read something for a class that I actually find a slight enjoyment in reading. I know I am bound to learn something new or at least analyze something I do or something that society does more in-depth.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Capitalism, Class, and the Matrix of Domination

Capitalism, Class, and the Matrix of the Domination’s thesis is “If race is socially constructed and doesn’t exist otherwise, and if human beings don’t have to be afraid of one another, then where does racism come from? Why all the oppression and hostility and violence over something that’s made up? And why would people make it up this way in the first place?” (41)

Johnson begins this article by telling how capitalism works which is simply “to turn money into more money.” (42) He tells of how capitalists’ main goal is to invest their money into pretty much anything as long as it makes them profit. No matter whether the product causes harm or provides benefits to people their main goal is make money. How capitalists invest their money is up to them and the values they hold close. Johnson says, “but the system itself doesn’t depend on such moral or ethical considerations, because profit is profit and there’s no way to tell “good” money from “bad.”’ (42) Capitalists earn their money from the products they sell which has to be sold more than what they paid for. In other words, the products are worth more than what the workers are making to make or produce the product. Workers really do not have a choice in the matter cause in this world either you are the person to set the rules, Capitalists, or you are the one to abide by them and hold on to your job, Workers. Johnson then further expands the article by stating the relationship between capitalism and class. It is because of capitalism why we have rich, upper-class, middle-class, and lower-class people. “The class system offers little security and takes an emotional toll” (44) on “employed members of the working class as well as many of those in the middle-class” (44). People within these classes have a very small chance of advancement in the workforce because of the new jobs which are created offers very little chance of advancement also these jobs are low-paying. Yet, Johnson relates all of this to how capitalism was the start of slavery. “Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin in 1792 made it possible to process far more cotton than before.” (45) It was because of this that other planters became “greedy” and wanted to make more money but for cheap. So, they set out and “recruited” slaves to do the work for them for no money instead of at least providing them with enough to have a decent standard of living. This wasn’t the only time that white people’s greed got the best of them. It was also during the times when they were trying to obtain more land as well as raw materials. “Whites managed to take what they wanted through a combination of conquest, genocide, and a complex array of treaties that were routinely ignored.” (45) It was because of this that whites made their race the most privileged because they needed something to justify their actions and make what was wrong right.

This article brings about the question, if this is how racism begun and the root to all of the violence and hostility which exists why haven’t it gone away yet? Which I believe Johnson makes a point of by stating how capitalism is a strong part of our society today. Many capitalists exist and still attempt to find workers to work for them for as little as possible. Much of this is seen in a lot of the outsourcing America does today. With all of the inequality that still exists in the class system I don’t think racism, violence and all the hostility which exist will go away. As long as people have to fight for their place this will continue to be an on-going battle.

Johnson does a really good job of explaining exactly how everything came about. I found this to be another interesting article. This article showed me how connected things are and if you don’t pay close attention to them you miss out on a lot. I never would’ve related capitalism to slavery let alone the affects it has on race, class, sexual orientation, and disabilities. It opened my eyes to reality and allowed me to critically analyze our society and this world we live in.

Privilege, Oppression, and Difference

In the article, Privilege, Oppression and Difference by Allan G. Johnson I found his thesis to be found within his opening paragraph. I believe the thesis to be, “The trouble that surrounds difference is really about privilege and power— the existence of privilege and the lopsided distribution of power that keeps it going.” (12) Johnson is stating that certain groups of people are given certain privileges that others groups are not as lucky to have because privileges are more of what society has come to label certain people with having.

Johnson begins the article by stating how difference by itself is not the issue. He stated how “the real illusion connected to difference is the popular assumption that people are naturally afraid of what they don’t know or understand.” (13) Johnson is saying that because we are afraid of the unknown we tend to make our own judgments or come to our own assumptions of what we believe to be true about the mystery people. He stated that children have an innocence about themselves which the unknown attracts them. Yet, as they grow older they become more fearful of the unknown because at this point this is what they have been taught. Johnson stated that “if we feel afraid, it isn’t what we don’t know that frightens us, it’s what we think we do know.” (13) He later goes on to talk about how people use differences they share with other people to determine who to “include or exclude, reward or punish, credit or discredit, elevate or oppress, value or devalue, leave alone or harass.” (16) He goes on to say how people create quick impressions of people and their status. We judge before we know. The American culture is sets standards of how people should be whereas many other countries do not hold the same standards. Instead they accept the people as they are no matter their sex characteristics, the race of the individual, or their sexual orientation. Johnson says how a black woman in Africa does not see herself as being Black but just simply a woman. Where she is from race is non-existent but if that same woman was to come here to America she would be labeled black and she will also obtain certain privileges based on her new label. He uses the same example again but this time with the use of a Norwegian farmer who after coming to America greatly accepts the label of being white due to the many privileges he now has obtained from it. (18) Johnson ends the article with defining privilege according to how Peggy McIntosh describes it. McIntosh says that “privilege exists when one group has something of value that is denied to others simply because of groups they belong to, rather than because of anything they’ve done or failed to do.” (21) People seem to fail to realize the privileges they hold while being in a certain group because it has become a way of life for them. It is like the saying, “You never know what you have until it’s gone.”

With all of this being said, it raises the question of whether or not these privileges still exist today in our present society? The answer is as clear as night and day, yes. Being a woman, being bi-racial, and being short I know I am not entitled to certain privileges that others may have. I have come to realize that women have to prove themselves more than males and African Americans still have to fight to obtain certain goals or accomplishments. But one thing I have come to realize by being outside of the box that Johnson didn’t really mention is that even though males and whiteness have more privileges black women sometimes have more of a privilege than black males. This is in part of the fact that black males have more stereotypes they carry with them during their lifetime when black women can sometimes have it a little easier because they are a woman. Also, people in today’s society still do judge or rather bring about their own assumptions about certain people that have different sexual orientation and those that are disabled.

I thought this article was very interesting and had much insight. Johnson does a good job providing details and examples of what he is referring to. I just believe it is really sad how screwed up this country is. I mean even though we are suppose to be a free country but sometimes I wonder just how free are we? I mean we can’t be that free if we are constantly being judged of who we are. Freedom… True freedom comes about when we are accepted as just being human.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Race: The Power of an Illusion

The video Race: The Power of an Illusion: Difference Between Us main objective was to bring awareness that race is nothing more than the physical traits or characteristics people have. There is no way to prove a person is of a certain race through science. Race was something human beings decided to create to help them define who they are.

This video showed how people of one race do not share genetic traits with someone their same race. Within the video, they showed the students in the biology class stating whom they felt their genes would closely resemble with in the class. The students picked others that were the same race as themselves. But after many tests they came to realize that they were very different from each other genetically. Race is nothing more than the shape of a person’s eye, the color of their skin, and the texture of their hair. This video also showcased how people used to believe that because a person was of a certain race than they were going to be better than others in certain things. For example, it was said that African Americans were the better race at sports and this conclusion came about because they were winning at the Olympics. People tried to run many tests to see if there was some reason that African Americans were superior in this area. But all the tests came back to show that it had nothing to do with the race of the people it was simply the individual.

Based on this video, I have come to wonder since a race of people is not the same genetically then how can we really be classified as being a certain race? This video showed that people of different races could have some of the same genes as those of another race and none of those from their same race. With all of this having being said, why do we use race still to this day to identify a person? I believe it has more to do with people feeling comfortable with having something to identify with.

Race has caused many problems in this world in the past. It is sad that we use science to provide us with an explanation for everything and then draw a conclusion from there. But it seems as though this is something we choose to ignore because without race, I believe, people would become lost. I think people need race to determine who they are and how they should be. Because of all of this I do not think race will go away but I do hope that racism will disappear based on these facts.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Drawing the Color Line

I found the Zinn’s thesis to be, “So it is more than a purely historical question to ask: How did it [racism] start? — and an even more urgent question: How might it [racism] end? Or, t put it differently: Is it possible for whites and blacks to live together without hatred?” In this article Zinn first begins by stating how based on history the first known period where blacks and whites interacted with each other begun in North America. He goes on to state how the European settlers in Virginia was in great need of laborers. Zinn also states that the Indians “were tough, resourceful, defiant, and at home in these woods” where as the Englishmen needed to obtain slaves that were opposite the Indians. A group of people the Englishmen believed were less superior to them as well as the Indians. It came to be that black slaves were the perfect choice. Zinn states that blacks had been used as slaves by many other countries prior to the Virginians sailing out to obtain some. Also, the Englishmen believed that based on some African civilization at the time they were already using their own people as slaves. To the Englishmen, this meant it was ok for them too to use the blacks as slaves. Zinn tells of the journey from Africa to the Americas and how many Africans died a horrible death along the way. After this journey Zinn goes on to tell how the Africans adjustment to slavery in the Americas. Lastly, with the Africans adjusting and not all the Virginians agreeing with the slavery and attempting to aid black slaves in the escape. The white men sought out one way to prevent all the rebellious behavior and that was to free the white servants of their duties and provide them with bushels of corn, shillings, if they were a man they were provided with a gun, and lastly they were given land. This was to persuade them to side with the white men more and prevent them from siding and aiding the blacks.
I believe this article expressed its idea of where racism rooted from pretty well but at the same time I believe it begun with the Indians instead of Blacks. I do not understand why the Englishmen saw the Indians as being inferior to their race but it was blacks that racism supposedly rooted from. Based on the previous chapter by Zinn, it referred to how Indians were taken from their homes/environments to become slaves for Europeans but with this article it speaks of how blacks were taken from their homes/environments to become slaves for the Englishmen in the Americas. What made the slavery in the Americas different from the slavery in Europe? I mean I do understand the treatment may have been slightly harsher in America against the black slaves than the Indians in Europe but slavery is still slavery. As I was reading this article I felt as though there were some things I was learning for the first time and others I already knew. I thought it was a very interesting article with a great attempt in pin-pointing the root of racism. Although, I never knew of the connection the white servants had with the black slaves and their attempt to help each other. Also, I had always been under the impression that slavery with blacks/Africans begun in the United States. I did not know South America, the Caribbean, Portugal, and Spanish colonies enslaved Africans prior to Englishmen.

Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress

Howard Zinn has, what I have found to be, an interesting perspective on history. I believe
Zinn’s thesis in this article, Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress to be, “If history is to
be creative, to anticipate a possible future without denying the past, it should, I believe,
emphasize new possibilities by disclosing those hidden episodes of the past when, even if in brief
flashes, people showed their ability to resist, to join together, occasionally to win.” Zinn first
begins with telling of Christopher Columbus’ journey to lands on the other side of the Atlantic
and how he ended up on a island with very generous and kind people. These people were called
Arawaks and it was said they were very much similar to Indians. Columbus has been known as
being this heroic sailor to have discovered new countries and so forth. Based on this article by
Howard Zinn Columbus was also a very cruel and sadistic murderer that allowed his greed to get
the best of him. Columbus tortured the Indians and made them less than human; he treated them
as animals. He then took them back to Spain where the Arawaks were no longer a free people
but instead slaves to people who they would’ve willingly helped if they had only asked instead of
forced. This article tells of how a people has become extinct by other people. Zinn is telling the
untold truths of Christopher Columbus which are not found in our textbooks and schools. Zinn’s
goal is to speak for the Arawaks and other “people” whose side of the story has been left behind
in the past and to provide readers with the unknown facts.
I found a lot of what Zinn stated in this article to be very interesting and some of what he stated I agreed with. I was a little shock to know this truth of Christopher Columbus although I
have heard mention in the past that he really wasn’t this spectacular guy our school textbooks
wanted us to believe but I never imagined it was to this extent. This article has changed my
perspective of Columbus and makes me question why exactly we celebrate a day in his honor.
To me that is like saying we pick one of he slave masters of the Africans that were brought here
to the United States and celebrate their life. This is not to say that I do not think his discoveries
were not something to celebrate but we need to stop hiding the truths about people just because
of their title or the little good they have done in their life.