Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Guantanamo Bay

Michelle and Kendra Brenya
Dr, Bergman
Modern U.S History
4/28/2017

We agree with Moras belief. The claim being made by United States suggests that since the prisoners are not being held on American Soil, they are not subject to its laws and rights. However, if two individuals; one a us citizens and one a non us citizens commit a crime, the U.S implies that the non U.S citizens is more punishable even through the same crime was committed. In reality, the treatment a mass murderer in the U.S receives  should be no different than the punishment a mass murderer not born in the U,S would receive. Also, it is unfair for the United States to continue to treat foreign prisoners inhumanely , while also demanding that their soldiers be treated more “kindly” when held in captivity. In addition, The United States makes a claim that some of the protections of the Geneva Convention because these prisoners are not “prisoners of war”. What the  United states fails to remember is the use of detention Camps  and the   “War of Terror Era began as an effort to fight against terrorism. Therefore should make individuals captured prisoners of war and subject to the protection of the Geneva Convention.
Currently, our government holds all the power when it comes to the treatment of the prisoners. We trust that our elected leaders are making the right decisions, but to what extent? Leaked information suggest that prisoners are often mocked, deprived of resources such as water, sometimes refused the right to relieve themselves properly and tempted by females. This is not only cruel but very unnecessary. We believe that interrogation should be used on all prisoners whether the individual has evidence to back them or not. However, extreme methods such as waterboarding should be used if and only if there is sufficient information and evidence that a certain individual has done something wrong or holds valuable information. It is very important to continue to maintain a level of professionalism inside the camps also and cease an frivolous forms of cruelty. With that being said, we conclude that the power of deciding how  prisoners are treated should be left up to responsible, trustworthy, highly ranked military personnel, being stationed at the various camps. They should be already educated on the terms of the Geneva Convention, while also making sure only appropriate behavior is being practiced. They would also have to oversee the other guards and military members to make sure that their behaviors comply. These individuals should be equipped with the common sense to know how far is far enough when it comes to interrogation process,to ensure that they aren't putting the prisoners at any potential risk.
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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Korematsu Questions

The Japanese internment order did not find the right balance between the needs of national security and the rights of citizens. If anything, the needs of national security were put in priority. One important factor to consider was that there were no reported cases of any coalition between Japanese-Americans and the Japanese forces. It is understandable the the U.S. wanted to take action before crimes were possibly committed, but rounding up thousands of Japanese Americans into camps based on assumptions was the very beginning of violating the rights of an American citizen. Civil Rights are put into place to "protect people's freedom from infringement by governments". The very act of government forces forcing Japanese-Americans to sell their homes, personal belongings, and move into internment camps is violating the God-given rights. As stated in the summary: "Many of the [internment camps] did not have running water or cooking facilities." Therefore not only is the government depriving people of basic rights, but also depriving them of means of survival.

I do not agree that racial prejudice plays no part in the government's treatment of Japanese Americans during World War II. In the Dissenting Opinion presented by Mr. Justice Murphy, it is brought to the audience's attention that yes, there were some Japanese American citizens who did play some part in the Japanese war effort. But we can also need to realize that there are Germans, Italians, and other natively European citizens who are staying loyal to their country and committing acts of tyranny against the U.S. No precautions are taken against these citizens based on the fact that they are white. They are the physical representation of the typical American so the government chooses to turn a blind eye. It is only when people of color raise the suspicions of the government do they begin to take action. The discrimination presented by the U.S. government is an act of racism and nothing else.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The New Jim Crow (Lesson 9)

How has racial caste perpetuated in the form of mass incarceration, despite the achievements of the civil rights movement?

The Civil Rights movement was famous for its work in continuing the journey towards equal rights amongst black and white people. Their work was evident in their dismantling explicit forms of racism such as the Jim Crow Laws. The purpose of the movement's work was to diminish the racial caste system, and to a certain extent, they did do that. It can be argued that the civil rights movement is even still present today, but their most memorable achievements began in the 1960s.

One thing that the civil rights movement was not able to change, however, was the ideology behind the different forms of racism. Since the civil rights movement worked diligently to change explicit portrayals of racism, racial caste began to be portrayed in a "legal" way. The criminal justice system turned into the new Jim Crow. Mass incarceration rounded up millions of black people into federal prisons. The justification for this was that black people were their majority of the people committing these crimes when in actual fact, it was the new era of racial caste in America. Mass incarceration kept black people in prison, thereby condemning them to the lowest form of societal involvement in America.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Color of Justice (Lesson 7)

What is the age of colorblindness? And how does it mask racial caste while also enforcing white privilege? You might even want to consider how "all lives matter" could be considered a form of colorblindness that masks -- and so actually reinforces -- a racial caste system that devalues black Americans.

It is safe to say that the start of the War Against Drugs was an official kickoff for the “age of colorblindness.” This age was characterized by the ironic notion that all people were equal under the law. The War Against Drugs was a legal excuse to go out and practice the complete opposite of what the whole “age of colorblindness” was supposed to be portraying. Black people were targeted and arrested far more than white people. When this issue was brought forward to the Supreme Court, they ruled that in no way possible could the criminal justice system be racially biased towards black people due to the Fourteenth Amendment. The colorblind era, which is still persistent today, claims that its sole purpose is to promote equality across all aspects of life when in actual fact it is a concealer for racist motives.

Colorblindness masks racial caste because through its basic definition, everyone is seen and treated equally. Therefore there is no race or any hierarchy within race. Racial caste is then diminished and thought to be nonexistent. Simultaneously, white privilege is being uplifted because colorblindness fails to acknowledge the difference between races, therefore no racial disparities can be fixed because none of them are brought to attention. The “All Lives Matter” movement is a perfect example of the colorblindness era. The motion is driven by the thought that everyone struggles therefore everyone matters. It fails to recognize extreme cases of inequality between races where in actual fact all races do struggle, but black people struggle to a higher degree than white people.

After discussing colorblindness with my mother she brought to my attention that colorblindness also promotes the dismissal of identity. She explained that many things that are unique to black culture will be masked in the whole colorblind rhetoric. I felt this on a deeper level because I’ve heard the term “I don’t see you as black” many times before and have not realized that this was an insult rather than a compliment. People were deliberately trying to mask who I am because I didn’t fit into the “typical black girl” stereotype. Colorblindness strips the one form of individuality black people have left.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Rebirth of Caste (Lesson 5)

How did conservative "law and order" rhetoric provide a new racial bribe to low- and lower-middle class whites? How did this wedge impact the Democratic Party?

The conservative "law and order" rhetoric provided a new racial bribe to low-and lower-middle class white people because it defined the line between these white people and black people. Prior to the law and order proposal, lower class white people were not very much different from black people. They struggled for the same jobs, lived in fairly similar neighborhoods, and had the same economic problems. Although sharing similarities, the lower-class whites of the South were some of the most ardent pro-segregation advocates. The introduction of "law and order" created a major difference between these two groups. No matter what black people would always be targeted more than white people in law enforcement.

This wedge impacted the Democratic Party because the party was beginning to take a pro Civil Rights stance. White working class people, who were originally Democrats, were outraged by this stance because the party was standing for a cause that the white people despised. The Democratic Party, which initially comprised of lower-middle or lower class people, lost its supporters to the Republican party who saw this as an opportunity to unite the pro-segregationists at the time. The introduction of "law and order" was essentially the main cause of the political party shift.

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Rebirth of Caste


What is "racial bribe"?
How did it help construct the idea of race in America?
How did whites attempt to reconcile the ideas of democracy with the system of slavery?

During the early the early colonial years, white elites were outraged by the unexpected alliance between lower class white and black people. To diminish this bond, the government offered special privileges to whites to open the gap between the white and black people. This is called "Racial bribe" and has been carried out through slavery, post slavery, Jim Crow, and up to the present.

This helped construct the idea of race in America because it supported the claim that white people "naturally" were and are smarter and more successful than black people. White people claimed that the democracy included the ability to own property. Slaves were not seen as people, but property. White peoples entitlement to property made it justified for them to own slaves.


Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Rebirth of Caste (Lesson 4)

The beginning of Reconstruction was marked by the North freeing the slaves in 1863 and reaches its end in 1877, "when [the North] abandoned [the slaves] and withdrew federal troops from the south"(2-3). Although the underlying effects of Jim Crow have been evident throughout Reconstruction, and Jim Crow has no real beginning, the event that marked its demise was Brown v. Board of Education. This court case specifically addressed the racial issues in the public school system while simultaneously diminishing the entire system of a "legalized discrimination in the South" (3). The downfall of Jim Crow came thanks to the Civil Rights movement. The organization reached its peak in 1963 and then later made history in when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed which "formally dismantled the Jim Crow system of discrimination in public accommodations" (4). The movement "ended" when it developed into the "Poor People's Movement" which aimed at created socioeconomic security for whites, black, Native Americans, Mexican Americans, and Puerto Ricans.

Alexander proposes that despite these marked endings of these time periods, the struggles of the time period still persist today; they just take on different shapes. Oppression has turned into a socially constructed war rather than a physical one. Civil Rights today is no longer necessarily vouching for the ability to drink at the same water fountains as white people. They are now vouching for the social equality among all races throughout America. The maltreatment of black people in America is no longer characterized by Reconstruction and Jim Crow, but rather by subtle societal discrimination. After all, the new form of inequity towards black people "could not involve explicit or clearly intentional race discrimination" (5). It is evident that history has taken on a new form.