Wednesday, March 19, 2014

AFRO 298 Post #2

After reading the assigned readings, I realized that discrimination and inequality were and continue to be major issues in the United States. I also realized that the institution of slavery still has a very big impact on us. This was discussed in my favorite reading of all that we were assigned to read which was the chapter from "Brainwashed".

The chapter from "Brainwashed" was my favorite reading out of all our assigned readings. I was able to relate to many of the things were discussed in this article and it also really made me think and reflect on the effects that discrimination, slavery and racial inequality has had on the African American people in this country.

One very interesting point that was made in this article was the reference to the President of the United States, Barack Obama and how his election gave the illusion to many African Americans that racism and discrimination would magically disappear and become a thing of the past. Indeed this was not the case. This is certainly an example of what the author refers to as being "brainwashed". African Americans were "brainwashed" into thinking that racism would end as a result of having a black man hold the highest office in the nation, just as we have "brainwashed" for the past couple of centuries into thinking we were inferior or less than anyone else. The effects of being "brainwashed" continue to plague the minds of many African Americans today.

The "Activism and Service Learning: Reframing Volunteerism As Acts of Dissent" was also an interesting reading. This article discussed service learning, community service and activism. Apparently, the term "activism" or "activist" holds a negative connotation with some people. Some believe that an activist is a wild, radical and overly aggressive person fighting for something they believe in. This isn't necessarily true. While I read this article, I wondered to myself "Why do activists hold such a negative connotation with some people?" When most people think of activism, they will envision Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr and a large crowd marching behind him and vicious police officers. But if it weren’t for the activism and social movements of the civil rights and women’s suffrage era, who would have paved the way for the gay and lesbian rights or immigration movements to follow? Activism should not receive a negative connotation; it is simply a social movement with one goal in mind which is to raise awareness on an issue and propose a change.
Discrimination has definitely left a mark on this nation’s history and continues to do so. It is not something we can just ignore or forget. We must analyze the problem and focus on the root of the problem. In order to move forward, you must be able to know your past. I am really looking forward to learning more about the effects of discrimination and the civil rights movement and use that knowledge for the betterment of others.

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