Earliest Movement?

19 Oct

 

In 1875 BC, the beginnings of slavery came to at that time, the most powerful nation in the known world.   A nation ruled over the years by many, one at a time with the leadership passed down through succession from father to son.  Most likely not the earliest recorded abuse of a group of people, but probably the best documented in history.  After nearly 350 years, descendants of the early group of slaves under the current tyrannical rule of the current leader, sought the same freedoms reserved only for non-slaves or citizens of that country. One man, an activist and civil rights leader came forward in an attempt to correct this social injustice and free that group of people who had been so badly abused and taken advantage of.  That man Moses, was himself a descendant of a slave.  In approximately 1290 BC and after numerous attempts by this ordinary man with extraordinary talents, freedoms were givien to these slaves. The challenges of life, being able to find a daily meal, shelter and a place to call home took its toll on those who were given this new freedom. Many died in the process and more than 3000 years later in 1946, a Nation was established. Many would argue that this group of people, descendants of these slaves still have no right to land, religion or for that matter life as exemplified by leaders of European countries, Hitler, Stalin and Mousellini as in the recent past and Middle-Eastern counties, Ahmadi-Nejad, Sadat and Hussein currently. Yet, they continue to seek complete freedom and peace but are still discriminated against, sometimes even by the very countries claiming to be their advocates.  The nation of people known in the past as Hebrews is now known as the Nation of Israel. 

So how could a story so tragic reoccur in modern days and in a country founded on those same freedoms? Could history repeat itself, with a leader rising up to set his people free from oppression and discrimination and would the lessons learned from 3000 years earlier help to win the fight for equality? Prior to becoming a nation, in 1526 in what is now South Carolina, people from Africa were shipped in to fulfill the needs of land-owners as slaves, unlike the indentured servants from Europe who would eventually pay for their freedom. This forced-immigration of African tribes people continued throughout the 1800’s and although many were opposed, there was not a  leader strong enough who could rise up and unite these people of African descent.  After hundreds of years, even wars,  the same captivity much like the Hebrews realized, a strong man emerged who would eventually lead his people to at least a portion of those freedoms. This man, much like Moses, a descendant of a slave, an activist and civil rights leader was Martin Luther King Jr. Fighting for the rights of his people to share the same freedoms that those of European roots enjoyed right here in the United States of America. Through church meetings, rallies, marches and protests he fought for equality and freedoms.  And, even after his death in 1963, the fight continues as some would agree that equality has not yet been achieved.  History truly repeats itself but the big question is, can and will the world learn from it?

Affirmative Action

1 Oct

Affirmative action is an effort to improve the employment or educational opportunities of members of minority groups and women. This “movement” started in the early 60s and is still prevalent today. According to Salomon, there was a huge issue in San Francisco therefore making job opportunities for minority groups impossible to achieve. Many protests and campaigns were organized in the early 60s to push companies to hire African Americans. Because of World War II, many whites were sent away to go fight for our country. This increased the employment rate of African Americans and they were more likely to receive job opportunities. But as soon as the war was over, the whites got their jobs back and the blacks were kicked to the curb, once again without a job and increasing the unemployment rate for blacks.

Bank of America was “the most powerful bank in the world” employing over 30,000 different raced people. Although the numbers were so small for the minorities, they were still working. I believe and to an extent agree with the bank, they shouldn’t have to raise ‘quota’ or fire employed white workers just to hire more minorities. This is where I believe that the minorities were being in a sense ungrateful  about what they had receive but thought that they could get anything they wanted. They definitely challenged authorities when they decided to picket outside and continually push and push. They did not let go until they got what they had wanted.

 

Especially back then, schooling was limited and you basically had to have money to earn a higher education. Blacks did not have a lot of money and whites tend to have more. This gave them an opportunity to go to school which in turn gave them a better opportunity to receive a job. Yes, it could have been racist, but you have to work your way up in life and if you are lazy you will not be successful. Everyone does deserve and equal chance at certain things but you do also have to be qualified.

Today, I believe that Affirmative action has gone too far and is not about equality now. I have heard of situations, pertaining to education, where a black and a white will have the same qualifications, some differences here and there, but for the most part equal and they will choose to accept the black person over the white person. Now if you ask me that is racist. Sometimes I think that certain ethnicities think that they are higher than one another, and because of history and what happened to their ancestors, think they deserve anything and everything. Especially since the election of Obama, things have definitely changed. I do not think that times are “equal” now. There is always going to be some sort of racism one way or another.

In employment and education applications, why do they even need to have a section where you check your ethnicity? Jobs and schools should base whether they offer or accept you off of your credentials and if you are a good fit for the industry, not to meet a quota or by sympathy.  I think that Affirmative Action is still unfair and that there is a better way of handling things.

Youth Resistance

22 Sep

After reading, discussing and taking notes on this article, I would have to say that there are some statements that I agree with and some statements that I disagree with. As far as Social Security is concerned, I agree with the 76% that said no. I do believe that there will be little to no Social Security around by the time we are old enough to receive it because of the increasing debt, but I disagree with the statement of “more fairly payroll-taxing the wealthy”.  I believe that if you work hard for your money that you deserve every penny of it. I know of many situations where men and women both have gone to extensive schooling, employed at young ages and worked extremely hard to be where they are at today. It would be unjust of the government to cover up their mistakes and tax the wealthy. I also disagree with the statement “most appear resigned to having more money deducted from their paychecks for Social Security”. Even though there is not a whole lot you would be able to do about it, I believe also that the action of taking more money out of one’s paycheck is unfair. Why would we want more money being taken out when we could possibly never see it again? I guess it would just be another way for the government to cover up mistakes.

Accepting debt is a natural part of life, yes I believe that students are being submissive to the consequences of student loans but those are the consequences you have to take if you want to go to school and potentially become successful. One of the concerns I do not understand is why the government feels the need to increase tuition. We Americans already know that it is hard enough to pay for college; increasing tuition is not only potentially putting students in debt but also fueling the fire to our economic debt.  If one needs loans, financial aid, scholarships what not, where is all that money coming from? The government. I don’t think the government has a ton of money lying around to hand out to people right now.

Now, as far as schools that educate for compliance and not for democracy, I disagree with the statement, “ The nature of most classrooms, regardless of the subject matter, socializes students to be passive and directed by other, to follows orders…” , as a child I was taught by my parents to obey and to listen to what people have to say because it is respectful. Growing up children need some sort of stability in their life and if it comes from teachers then so be it. I do not believe that teachers are purposely trying to take control; rather teachers are trying to teach etiquette and factual evidence.  

Another statement that I do not agree with is “Americans who lack college degrees are increasingly shamed as ‘losers’”.  I know of many situations where people I know have only received high school diplomas, yet they are successful. It is a choice whether or not you want to pursue a higher education.

4 additional issues that reflect on the issue of youth and social change:

  1. Frivolous Spending: At this day and age, especially teenagers, many engage in over spending on unneeded items. It is also evident with older men and women who have a pretentious vibe about their personalities. Many will over spend to fit in with society and use credit to purchase things they think they need but can’t afford. This also contributes to the increasing debt in our economy. As an Apparel Merchandising major, I can understand how people would like to engage in this over spending but there are ways to cut back. I have made many of my own articles of clothing and used consignment goods to restore a vintage look. There are alternatives out there!
  2. Political Participation: I believe that young men and women both need to more actively involved in politics. We are the future and if we have no idea what is going on with today, how can we ever be educated enough for our future? I also don’t understand how one cannot have any particular view or care about politics, we are what runs our country, what would it be like if we have someone run our country who knew nothing? In my personal experience, I am always surrounded by politics. Although it is hard to keep up with current news here in Pullman, I know that when I go home to both of my houses, I can count on Fox News to be playing daily, whether it is the O’Reily Factor or daily news, to keep me in track. I am so thankful that my dad has informed me and is always continually willing to teach me more about politics.
  3. Parent dependency :  As young children you know nothing but to depend on your parents, it starts to become a problem when adults are still asking their parents for money. I believe that to an extent your parents should help you. I know I still occasionally ask my parents for money but I also know of others who depend on their parents to do basic tasks like laundry and dishes. If their parents don’t teach them these basics tasks when they are young then they will never have any independence when they are older. I think this is a huge issue especially for students who enter college. You need to be taught to learn how to do things on your own or else you could potentially fail in the future.
  4. Excessive Freedom:  Some parents allow their young children too much freedom. Whether it be extremely late curfews, being lenient on underage drinking or freedom to drive anywhere without permission. There needs to be enough control of your children to do what is right. Although as a child I thought in some situations that my parents were being overprotected, it was needed…to an extent. I feel like they have raised me in a way that is morally correct. By allowing excessive freedom to your children, often time they can become radical and out of control.

Branding in our Economy

14 Sep

From the time I wake up to the time I go to bed, I probably see over 100 different brands enter and leave my day, from my Quaker Oats oatmeal and Dasani water bottle to the many Nike and Underarmour work out attire to the Macbooks and HP laptops that surround me while at home, brands are always around.  It is normal for me to experience this and I don’t even really know any different. Since I am a Fashion Merchandising major, all I know is brands and how they can express your personal lifestyles, profit a company and sell goods to consumers.  So for me branding is a positive thing. I have learned in my Fashion Forecasting class that consumers get on a personal level with brands, not only by what the producers make but also with what they stand for. I know that I have certain brands that I draw near towards and many that I steer clear of.

Brands make a person. How do you think it would be if there were no brands? No differentiation? A world without branding would be wrong and boring. No one could really express who they are and what they stand for. If you were to ask a person what they like I bet the majority of them would list multiple brands while explaining to you. It is just our culture to be branded. Being able to wear, buy, express what you want and who you want to be is life and it is not socially unjust to do so. Because merchandising is my major, I have learned many things about the behaviors, trends, social status’ and everything about branding and related topics. Yes, sometimes wearing specific apparel and/or brands people tend to judge but it also makes the merchandising and business industry thrive because people are buying their specific brand. Therefore, because of brands, companies are able to thrive in our economy. Brands help promote and profit small and big companies. One may think branding is wrong because smaller business don’t have enough money to advertise like big corporations do but those big corporations started off small also.

However, branding can also be socially unjust in the mere fact that if an economic class is unable to afford specific brands they may feel like they do not fit into society. The alternative to that are knockoff items or apparel that may have the same look but purchased at a discount store. For example, when Coach purses were the trend, many consumers owned different styles of this specific brand. Soon, it was adopted by the lower income classes in a knockoff form. They would purchase purses that may have looked like the real Coach purse from far away but they indeed were not. Branding can sometimes get to one’s head and think that certain brands are what they need to fit in.  Being able to have these different options with styles and prices is good for the consumers but can be a little difficult when it comes to the outsourcing that is involved.

Because of globalization many different pieces of merchandise can be produced for an inexpensive price. This is good for the companies because they are able to make a larger profit but it is usually bad for the people that are working in the market because they work in poor conditions and are in a sense abused. Many workers are paid very little amounts of money and work strenuous hours of the day.

Major brands such as Nike, Puma, Gap, Banana Republic, etc. are still contributing to sweatshops in India and most of the workers are women. Although it can be beneficial to our economy, it is horrible conditions for them. But because our economy is in such debt, companies can’t help but linger towards the most inexpensive cost.  

Where a brand can be beneficial to one consumer it also can be detrimental to another person that has the hands on experience producing merchandise. Branding vs. Social Justice vs. Globalization all has its pro’s and con’s therefore saying one is worse than the other  is hard to determine.