Friday, July 3, 2009

The Man In The Mirror

Here’s a couple of random thoughts I just want to write down.

How am I going to change the world? I guess the best way to start is by letting my actions represent the change I think should take place. By having a kinder, more tolerant heart. Accepting.

I didn’t have a diverse life before my college years. I grew up in a white neighborhood. I belonged to a white country club. My friends in my youth group at church were white.

College has great way of changing a person though. Hopefully for better for most people. I belong to a fraternity that is very diverse. During rush each year we pride ourselves on being a diverse house. Two of my best friends are not white. I didn’t really hang out with people who weren’t like me until I got to college.

But what isn’t like me? Not white? Is that really that big of a difference? To some it probably is, and with merit. But my friends who aren’t white are just like me. We have common goals, beliefs, dreams, and experiences. We don't act at all like there is any difference between us because of our color. That's a good thing.

What is the difference in tolerance and acceptance? The dictionary says acceptance is to be regarded as suitable, or adequate; to be admitted into a group. Tolerance is tolerating the existence of beliefs or opinions one does not necessarily agree with.

I’d say I am somewhere between accepting and tolerating. I tolerate people’s beliefs and opinions because it is their right to have them just as I have a right to have my own. I accept people with beliefs and opinions that are similar to mine. I have a lot of friends who have very different beliefs and opinions than I – both on the left and right side of the scale. Most of the time we agree to disagree. So to me, that is tolerating rather than accepting.

Disney isn’t racist.

Transformers isn’t racist. The two robots everyone is having a fit about had maybe 2 minutes of screen time. They just had a funny personality. Tyrese, one of the actors in the movie, spoke with more of a dialect than the robots did. What’s wrong with personifying the robots, giving them personality? And when they said they don’t read, they were referring to all the robots. They had to go find a robot that was buried on earth thousands of years ago to have him translate it because none of the current robots could read it. What about megatron, the evil decepticon who wanted to destroy the world? He sounded just like Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino. Am I supposed to assume megatron was racist because he sounded like an old white guy? No.

This class has opened my world up to different opinions. I never thought twice about how Asian Americans, Latin American, is American Indians are represented in the media. Really they’re not.

I’d like to think we’re making steps in the right direction though.

My roommate last semester was a TA for a race class called the civil rights movement. He and I would talk about what they were discussing in class and I didn’t really understand why he was so passionate about it. Now I see his side of the story.

I’m glad I took this class. I didn’t need it, I had other options. I was told this would be an interesting class and would be eye opening. I love learning and I’m glad I now know other people’s perspective on different issues. I still disagreed with some people, but at least I know where they’re coming from.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Free Expression

So it's free expression time, which means I get to write about whatever I want to. I’m not really sure what I want to write about so I guess I’ll just write about Michael Jackson. Is he really that big of a deal? I mean, I guess so. He truly was the king of pop. He is the inspiration for so many musical artists today. He changed the way we listen to music and also how we dance.

Moonwalk anyone?

The thing that bothers me about Michael Jackson’s death is that as soon as he died, it seemed like everyone was his best friend. Everyone wanted to reach out to him and say he was the greatest entertainer ever and bester singer/songwriter ever and the world will never be different and blah blah bla...

How has the media portrayed Michael Jackson since Thriller? As a “wacko-jacko” child-molesting freak. Which in my opinion, he definitely was. I mean, if he settled for a plea bargain of 22 million dollars then in my mind, he totally did it. He was avoiding a trial because he would have been found guilty. Seriously? 22 million dollars??? He was really trying to hide whatever happened and not let the truth come out in a public trial.

I love Michael’s music. I loved watching him perform live. He was an incredible human being whose songs and lyrics really have stood the test of time and made people really think about the world differently.

But let us not forget how much of a weird individual he was. Just because he died doesn’t mean we all have to act like we knew him personally and it was a huge loss to us whenever a week ago if he was brought up in conversation, any of us would have said “oh yeah, good music but what a freak.”

Grieving Jackson fans commit suicide


Jackson died of drug overdose

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Me + 20



I have a lot of dreams for myself 20 years from now. It’s safe to say there is a lot that would make me happy. But right now I think I’m most obsessed with the idea of being famous in Hollywood. I really want to be the next Ryan Seacrest, and I think I can do it…without the good hair, of course.

20 years from now I’ll be 42 years old. I will be a known name around Hollywood. I will have hosted many big name events and television shows and will also have my own production company. Even though reality TV is as big as it has ever been, I don’t know that it will be around 20 years from now so I’d like to be producing big time dramas on network TV, much like this man.

At 42 years old, I will be living in the Hollywood hills in West Hollywood with my family. I will have a beautiful wife and 2 health incredible kids. I will be making enough money that my wife won’t have to work, but will if it’s what she wants.

To get there will be a long road, no doubt. 5 years from now I will be graduated and will be working my way out west. I’ll probably start in TV news, but I don’t want to be in some small town starter market. I will be good enough that a bigger market will want me.

A year from now I will have just graduated college. I will still have my lease for my house in Norman so I’ll probably still be living here, but will either have a job in Oklahoma City or I’ll have something lined up elsewhere.



Monday, June 22, 2009

Diversity in Professions



Is having diversity in a profession important to have?

I think so.

But what does diversity mean? Does it mean we to hire people based on their color and ancestry just for the sake of diversity?

I don’t think so.

I do not believe at all in hiring people of different backgrounds just for the sake of having diversity. Hiring people just because they have a different background is unfair for your company and for the economy. I believe in hiring someone who will best fit the job that needs to be hired. If I am the boss and have to hire someone and two people come into interview for the job, I will completely look past all backgrounds and hire the person who I believe is best qualified for the job.

I think this is associated with affirmative action. I don’t believe in affirmative action. I do not support hiring someone just on the basis of race. This idea, to me, is completely racist … modern racism, if you will.

I believe the only way to actually ever end racism in America is if we totally look past all races and hire whoever is best qualified for the job or scholarship or whatever it is. As long as we continue to have specialty scholarships or stations like BET or special license plates for American Indians then we are continuing to segregate people based on race.

How long will this go on?

How long will we “reward” people of different races based on past occurrences?

Will we still be giving special treatment to minorities 300 years for now?

I don’t know the answer but I hope not.

In my humble and somewhat educated opinion, I believe that as long as we continue to support systems who reward people based on race, then we are continuing to support racism.


Wikipedia on Affirmative Action

Other thoughts on Affirmative Action

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Objectification

What does it mean to objectify something? The definition of the word means to degrade something. In that sense of the word, then women are definitely objectified. Especially in hip-hop videos and pop culture. But I have ask myself, who is responsible for the action of being “objectified.” Do women objectify themselves by putting themselves in the rolls that we as men look at and find sexual? Yes, but this is a two way street. Women are in these roles because we continue to watch them. So what must go first to get rid of the objectification of women? I don’t know, but I would guess that if women quit putting themselves in these roles than we wouldn’t have any way to objectify them.

But besides that definition, do not objectify ourselves on a daily basis? When a guy goes to the gym to get buff to be attractive to others, is he not in a way objectifying himself? Or what about when a girl wears a sexy bikini? Is she not putting herself out there to looked at and “objectified?”

I don’t necessarily think that objectification needs to end. We have the right to make choices, and who am I to say to a woman you cannot put herself in a role that could be compromising or objectifying if she so chooses? That’s a personal decision, remember those? It’s like porn. Porn has been around since the beginning of time and if it offends you, then you don't look at it. If a woman has made a personal choice to put herself in a scantly clad role, then why are we making such a big deal about it? If you don’t like it then you don’t have to watch it. These are personal decisions that we are making by ourselves and I don’t think it’s our job to tell others how to live their lives.


Other thoughts

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNJx8iGR0aM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cH43kL1ZGHE

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Gender Roles

Gender. What are gender roles in today’s society? Is it odd for there to be a stay-at-home dad while the mother is the breadwinner of the family? Is it weird if the wife makes more than the husband? My mom believes the woman’s role is to be a homemaker during a child’s formative years and that the male should be the breadwinner of the family. Now I’m probably going to offend some people by what I’m about to say, but that’s okay. I tend to agree with her. I want the woman I marry to spend her time at home with the baby/child. At least until my child is at school all day. I don’t want my child to be raised by a nanny or a daycare center. I want the primary adult figure to be my wife being a mother. And I want just as much the opportunity to raise the child, but I also believe it is my role as a man to work hard for my family and to make enough money to support us and the lifestyle we choose to live. Before my parents had me, my mother had a hardworking job. Then I came along and she to be at home with me and teach me things like how to read. Then my brother came along and she did the same with him. As soon as Chase and I were in school, my mom went back to work. But she was there for us all day every day until then. That’s how I want my family to be.

I have absolutely no problem with women in the workforce. At all. Women have every single right to work and make just as much money as men do. Often times, women even do a better job than a man in a “man specific job.” Here’s something else that may make you cringe. My dad is a pharmaceutical representative. Which means he works for a pharmaceutical company and tries to tell doctors why they should sell his company’s medicines. More and more women are getting into this job because typically, most of the doctors are men, and most men are attracted to women. My dad has told me time and time again that good-looking women are outselling the men all over the country, assuming it is because of their good looks. Is this the way it should be? No, absolutely not. But that’s the way it is.

We are a society obsessed with pop culture and looks and material things. Maybe not some of us in the class, but as a society we are. There is a reason why most of the women on TV are gorgeous. We like pretty people; we want to see more of them. I mean, do we not spend our hard earned money on manicures, pedicures, clothes, hairstyles, and even plastic surgeries? We as a society do this because we want to be pretty; we want to be noticed and we want to be liked. And this my friends is not gender specific. Especially on the west coast. Men line up the get their hair, toes, and nails done, and well they should.

Part of succeeding in this business is looking professional. And part of looking professional is looking good. So if it takes me getting my hair, toes, hair, and makeup done to look good, then sign me up.

And maybe we’ll do throw some good reporting in the mix.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9d8gkZ_rnw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6eNhhI5XcI

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Privilege

Does privilege exist? I think it does. I think we all have some kind of privilege. I am privileged because I come from a great family. I am educated. I have a freedom of speech. But the problem we had today in class was defining this word. What does it mean to be privileged? I guess when it comes to race it is a predisposed or unearned merit.

Tim Wise talked about a “white privilege.” I’m not so sure it exists. Or maybe it does, but as far as I am concerned, I cannot think of a time when it has ever helped me out. I would like to think that we have come far enough in our society that the color of our skin doesn’t predispose us to some kind of merit.

Tim talked about how discrimination is bigger now than it ever has been. Is this really the case? I don’t know. I asked my parents about it and they seem to completely disagree. They attended the first public school in Oklahoma that began bussing, Southeast High School in Oklahoma City. It was so bad then the football players would put on helmets and walk up and down the halls with bats to break up fights. Girls would throw each other down the stairs. The school made national news when a student was killed after a teacher threw a desk out a window. Tim is far more educated and has done far more research on the subject, but I find it hard to believe anything like this exists today.

Tim spoke of the housing crisis and how people of color are discriminated against now more than ever. I wonder why. Are we just more intolerant to discrimination now than we used to be so that when it happens people are doing something about it? Were the complaints to the housing officials well merited? Just because someone filed a complaint doesn’t mean it was legitimate.

I like what Idriss had to say about discrimination today in class. At what point do we stop blaming our past occurrences for the actions of today? 100 years from now are we still going to be fighting the same fight? Blaming slavery for the roots of discrimination? I’m not sure but I hope we will be past that. I hope we will come far enough that we will be judged on our own actions rather than the color of our skin and our ancestor’s opinions. I’d like to think we are now.

Something else Tim lectured about was the term underprivileged. He said by definition, there must be an over privileged. Well whom does that include? If he is inferring that blacks are naturally underprivileged, then does he mean whitea are automatically over privileged? And who is in the middle?

I’m not sure, but I hope this class will help me reach some conclusions.