Racism Through the Years; Have We Really Progressed?

1930. Slavery has been over since 1865, but people are still holding on to 80 year old prejudices. Blacks are not included as full members of societies. They are poor, filthy, untrustworthy people that should go away. The whites keep to themselves, and the blacks to theirs. Only in this way is peace kept. At least, in the rural areas. In the city blacks and whites are living right down the street from one another, stepping on each others toes and getting in each others way. When blacks begin to peacefully protest for their rights, the whites seem to think that its full out war. Police dogs, mace, fire hoses, and nightsticks are turned on the peaceful sit-ins, and innocent lives are lost at the hands of hate crimes. Some of these lost lives are not justified and compensated to this very day. The past has not been kind to the African American race. You’d think that, finally in the 21st century, we would be able to stop being such territorial caveman and accept that some people have more pigment in their skin. But no. Still today, we hold prejudices against blacks. Of course, we no longer shun them from society and fire on them for sitting in a cafe, but white people nowadays still feel uncomfortable in a black community. America still holds stereotypes towards blacks. Many still think that they are more criminal then use, that they are always poorer and less educated then whites, and that they are involved in guns and drugs. Even I, dearest reader, still hold inherent traces of bias against African Americans. Don’t judge me, you do to. Every generation becomes less hateful towards other races. As the parents influence the children to their biases, the children become just as bad as the parents. But as the child grows, he or she makes other personal choices that may or may not lower bias. It will take time to heal the scars of our pass, but, as many things do, racism will fade with time.

My Earliest Memory of School

My earliest memory of school, like the character Scout, is a punishment. It was Kindergarten, around Christmas time. We were making elves out of pink circle, green triangles, and assorted stickers. Before we began, the teacher constructed an example for the project. She carefully glued all features on her elf, and then added sparkles to his hat. She then proudly held her work aloft, and said “This is what your elf should look like when you are done. Can anyone tell me if this elf is missing something?” She said this, assuming that we would find the elf complete and not without all that an elf needs to live and make toys. He had a happy face, a droopy hat, a red tunic, and curly shoes with bells attached. The rest of the class seemed satisfied with the quality of the craft, but me, ever wanting to prove the teacher wrong, frankly said “He is missing boogers!” Five minutes in the time out chair soured me to teachers and education itself to this very day.

VCR- Vocabulary Cultural Revival

Everyone has heard of the art of language. The forming of sentences, the rhythm of poetry, the signature expression of every author, but many cultures around the world are losing their voice. Literally. Tribal languages across the USA are basically dying off with their members, mostly because of the lack of written documents from the Native Americans themselves. But there is hope for these ancient tongues. Many universities across New York state are working to rekindle the languages that have almost been forgotten by the entire world. Through doing this, descendants of these Native peoples connect with their ancestors, and celebrate the past through cultures that have almost vanished. I support anyone learning a dying language, because a human’s greatest gift is the ability to thoroughly communicate with others, and losing languages through which we can express ourselves is something that should be avoided at all costs.

Kids With Guns-Guerrillas

Everyone knows the guy in school who’s gun crazed. The guy who every time you talk about someone he doesn’t like he is always saying “I’m going to kill him, shoot him, strangle him, snipe him, shank him, etc, etc etc.” But these are just kids that have played to much Call of Duty. The kids in the world with the real guns aren’t sitting in front of an XBOX 360. These are the children in the Philippines, Columbia, Yemen, and Myanmar who have a weapon shoved in their hands and put in the middle of a battle scene with barely enough training to pull the trigger. How can anyone be okay with that? Most mothers I know won’t let their kid ride a bike without a helmet, so seeing children in other countries with grenades strapped around their chest, scouting behind crumbling brick walls and reloading a gun twice as big as themselves is ridiculous. It is just unheard of for a country’s government to force these children to fight in a war their generation had nothing to do with.  But sometimes it isn’t the countries doing it. Sometimes child soldiers are outlawed, but kids are still illegally being given weapons. To prevent this, stronger and more organized governments need to be set up in the afflicted countries, and high penalties should be enforced on people who force children to fight. Also, children should be taught in peaceful ways. If they grow up hating war, then they probably won’t start one.

Impulsive Promising

We’ve all done it. Your best friend that you haven’t seen all week and you’re just happy to see them back at school walks up to you and asks you to write his 5 page Social Studies essay for him and of course you say yes because at that moment you’re not thinking about anything except happy, happy, happy and then later you’re like oh crud, I have to type a 5 page Social Studies essay. What do you do in that situation? First of all, get new friends, ya dead beat. He’s just using you. Anyway, we all make stupid promises that seem way out of our league. I do it everytime I accept a homework assignment from my teacher.  Just last night, my mom asked me to take the dog for a walk. I said yes, because she was carrying a couple dishes, and if I said no they would end up up my nose. Just Kidding, your the best, mom. But then I realized that I had 20 Social Studies questions to do, plus a couple chapters to read in a book, and then my daily regiment of vegeing in front of the TV. But there was no going back. I had to do all of it and still manage to walk the dog. And I wanted to, also. The dog looked like he REALLY wanted to go. He’s super old, so seeing him jump up on the couch just to bother me about more made me think that I should REALLY take him. So I ran through my homework and was going to take him, but distractions called. I spent the next hour setting up a Facebook account and the dog finally exhausted himself bothering me and took a nap. I feel really bad about it, because he’s a great dog and taking him around the neighborhood wouldn’t have killed me and it would have been better than friending everyone from summer camp. I have actually kept a bunch of promises like that, but the ones you keep you don’t remember nearly as well as the ones you regret.  After last night and reading Three Cups of Tea, I’m definitely either going to think through promises more often, or get better at keeping them.

Migrating Humanoids

     For Literature class, I have been asked to write a short blog about why people move to different areas, and how my family ended up in Zionsville. My great great great great grandfather, Joann Scherer came over from Germany to protect his four sons from mandatory service in the military. He did this because the reasons Germany was fighting in the first place conflicted with his beliefs. Two sons moved out west and were never heard from again, but Johann and my great great great grandfather, George, found their home near Kokomo, the richest farmland in the midwest. They found cheap, fertile land and grew crops. George prospered as a farmer with his wife Mary Zauss, but his son Rutheford, my great great grandfather, had other ideas. He eventually founded The People’s Bank in Kokomo Indiana, and was also a principal at the local high school. He married a student, Addie Ellen, but she was only four years younger than himself, and soon they had a daughter, my great grandmother.  They were Quaker, so she was called to Richmond, Indiana for an education at Earlham College. Here she met my great grandfather, and ten years later they were pulled to Watseka Illinois when he bought an enormous Ace hardware store. Soon my grandma was born and she too was called to Earlham College in Richmond. Here she met my grandfather, who had traveled all the way from New Jersey just to go to Earlham. My grandfather became an Ordained Minister for the United Methodist Church, and was called to many different churches across the state to preach. My mother and father met at Hanover in Southern Indiana. My mother worked as a therapist at a counseling center in Frankfort and my dad was in law school in Indianapolis, so Zionsville was a nice half way mark to settle down. As you can see, for generations my family has found a wide variety of opportunities in the Midwest, calling them to many different towns for many different purposes.       -Jack, Suspender Boy

WOW

WOW i didn’t realize until I had posted but the previous post is huge!! Guess I got carried away. Just like last year I was talking to my brother about TV or something and all of a sudden this guy walks up to us and starts talking to us and that really annoys me you know? Like when someone just jumps into your conversation and pretends to know what you’re talking about but is only talking to just hear their own voice. That is so annoying! So anyway this guy is like “BEWARE” and I’m like no way. I’m like “YOU can’t tell me what to do. Why don’t YOU go beware I don’t have to beware just because you told me to and that’s another thing have you ever noticed that like people are so bossy? Like just yesterday my mom was on the phone and I came up to her and was like “WHERE ARE THE FREAKING PRINGLES, WOMAN?” and then she is like “no way” and DARN I’M RAMBLING AGAIN!!

What is really important?

What is really important? This question is ancient, but the answer is always changing. There was a time when everyone on Earth appreciated what mattered. There was no currency, material gain, or territory. This was a world without greed, power, or selfishness. The only golden coin was the life-giving orb that glided across the sky. The only shiny Corevette was a pair of strong legs. The only $230 bottle of Merlot was a clear river, and the only fine French cuisine was a ripe fruit. These are the things that matter. The things that I think matter can be divided into two categories. The intangible, and the simple. The simple includes small things, things that we may blow past on a regular school day and not stop to appreciate every detail. The simple things that are important are anything that you take a minute to experience every sense of. What about the first bite into an apple? The crunch, the feeling of your teeth splitting a crisp piece of ripe happiness off of the rest, the juice that is tart and sweet at the same time. The cool, subtle smell that lingers in the flesh. The color of the apple is not like in a coloring book, just a bright red flash. It is a mixture of red and yellow strips, of pink and orange hues that merge together to create a unique masterpiece of nature’s magic. Observing things like this is what is important. Time to smell the roses is what is important. The intangible things that are important are the exact opposite. You can’t describe them with words, you can’t touch them or look at them or sense them in any technical way. These things are called emotions. Happiness, joy, love, contentment, but also sadness, remorse, anger and jealousy. Our emotions are a gift. We are blessed with the ability to sense the world around us on a deeper limit than just feeling and seeing it. In short, the important thing is to experience. Experience every event that presents itself. Sense it physically and spiritually. Only then can you appreciate the world.

The Quote

The quote of the week is “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business.” This quote was taken from the book “The Christmas Carol” In the scene, Marley is reminiscing of his days, and telling Scrooge what he should have done. I think that this quote means that Marley’s real business when he was living was to be kind, understanding, and generous to others. He is miserable now that he realizes that he did not do any of these things at all, and was blind to what really mattered in life. But know, in the afterlife, he is mourning for what would have been. A life of happiness, joy, and care-free random acts of kindness. This is a very important quote in the book, because, at least for me, it illustrates the true pain that the imprisoned ghosts are feeling, and what they thirst to change of the past.