Journal #5 for Ideas in Antiquity
By: Rikita Spencer
September 24, 2020 5:23pm
At the end of class today, Dr. S put us in breakout groups and we discussed dehumanization amongst different topics. My group members were Nyeema, and Omoneka. We chose the topics of Education and economy. Since we are all black, the first thing we thought of when concerning Education was how a lot of standardized tests cater to wealthy white people. The questions are geared toward the benefit of and understanding of them. Also, pricing and waivers for the test. Unless you have a waiver, to take the ACT one time its $55. To take the SAT one time its $80. Thats just for domestic students. Omoneka mentioned for international students, it’s even more. She told us to take standardized tests outside of the country, it could cost up to $800. That’s absolutely ridiculous. You can only acquire two waivers, and you have to have very specific criteria to obtain them. After you receive the two, and your still not comfortable with your score, and can’t afford to pay the test fee, that’s it for you. You can no longer take the test. It’s unfair and dehumanizing that people who’s families don’t have the money for standardized test, won’t have a fair shot for entrance exams. One of the first things we put on our education list is more diversity in schools when it pertains to not only student body, faculty, and administration, but the actual educational content that is taught. Everyone knows that what’s taught in K-12 public schools is extremely whitewashed. A lot of my classmates said during the very beginning of Afro-American studies, they learned more about black history in a 50 minute lecture than in 13 years of K-12. I want to share a quote that my sister sent me that was on Instagram. “One year at an HBCU can undo thirteen years of damage done in the K-12 education system.” Anyway, this isn’t about HBCU appreciation, this is is about the lack of truth and diversity in fundamental development learning. We shouldn't only talk about black history during February, because black people are APART of history since the beginning of time. It’s important that the truth is being told in school and black people are apart of the truth. Also, white legislators should stop shunning all people from history. Recently in Illinois, a law was passed to incorporate a LGBTQ history class into 8th grade curriculum. Why? Because LGBTQ people are apart of history! Why are respectability politics even a thing? That is what is prohibiting the truth. When everything is catered towards washing the truth, good or bad, from history and replacing it with false, white information. I personally put brainstorming and creativity classes. I talked about this last week with the master harmonizer school. It applies to this to. Having people come up with new, and innovative ideas could encourage their inward validation for themselves. The mind is a beautiful thing and many people find solace and peace when ale to create and recover from within. Brainstorming allows people to think more freely, without fear of judegement or ridicule. It encourages open and ongoing collaborative thought, and leads to the result of solving problems generating innovative ideas. Now, moving on to our economic topic. First, most obvious thing we listed was the racial wealth gap. Their is a racial wealth gap because of a thing called systematic oppression. Also know as the result of slavery, unfair sharecropping, Jim Crow, segregation, and white supremacy. The average net worth of a white family in the United States of America is ten time greater than the average net worth of an American Black family. Yes, ten times. So it would be like a white family having a net worth of $171,000, and a congruent black family having a net worth of $17,150. Minorities built this country from the ground up, and because of white supremacy, white people are the only ones that benefit from this. White supremacy is a form of dehumanization. First they think their superior, then they fear us, then they wanna be us. They have depicted us in the media as animalistic, dumb, and inferior for years. A lot of Americans subconsciously associate blacks with apes. If this isn’t dehumanizing to you I don’t know what is. Because of constant racial depiction in media and centuries of cruel behavior, to them it justifies violence against many oppressed groups. This goes back to the educational topic. This stuff is being taught in schools. When we have a history like the one this country has, it is important that its taught accurately and informatively and not to spread more hatred. Kids’ mind are susceptible, and they run with whatever is told to them. Public schools should recieve more funding. A lot of parents who can afford to send their children to private school do so because private schools promise that their students will be leaders of society. So does this mean that public schools can’t be leaders of society? Well for one, public schools don’t have the integrity or funding to encourage their students.
September 29, 2020 3:07pm
Today in class, we are discussing the assigned story of the week, “El Muerto”. I’m going to be honest, I wasn’t jumping from joy or moved with interest after reading this story. The translation was confusing to me and I was barely holding on throughout the entire reading. I intended to ask during class, if the red haired girl was a pawn in all his. I knew she was Banderia’s significant other, but she was only told to seduce and kiss him, not go all the way like she did. If that was really someone significant to Banderia, why would he use her as a pawn? That would be like a husband pimping out his wife. Which, to me, is reason for divorce. This exact thing happened in an episode of BET’s The Game. Jason, a star football player, had a former cheerleader wife, Kelly. Jason had been in the league for a long time and was respected. But because he was in the league so long, he was beginning to look old, and play even older. So he didn’t get an automatic renewal of his contract. He was beginning to worry. The next thing he did was incomprehensible. He took his wife, who he was already having troubles without to a party. He knew the owner and manager of the team was going to be here. The owner was looking at Kelly very inappropriately. Jason took note of that. So when the owner said I will renew your contract if you let me dance with Kelly. Kelly was comfortable with that. Yet, Jason forced her. It wasn’t even an innocent dance, he was fondling her. This encounter was the icing on the cake for the end of their marriage. Kelly filed for the divorce the next morning. This situation in “El Muerto” could be easily compared to this episode of The Game. To my suprise that was the exact exerise we werer supposed to do in class today. When we were put in breakout rooms, I was grouped with Omoneka and Selam. Selam said she understood the plot, but like me, some details were rather tumultuous and hard to comprehend. We had to compare characters of “El Muerto” to other characters in other stories we’ve read in the duration of this course. Selam came up with some good ones. Benjamin from “El Muerto” is extremely narcissistic like Odysseus “The Odyssey” Benjamin kept talking about himself and how he was so proud of all his accomplishments. He was bragging about his lineage, heritage, and how those two things made him better than everyone else. The fact that he was from a certain place made him superior than everyone, according to him. Odysseus on the other hand was the exact same, maybe worse. Sine its Greek mythology and Gods and Goddesses, he thought he was better than all the other Gods. All the other Gods that had existed before him. Selam came up with the great link between Binti’s father in Binti and Banderia. Binti’s father was very stern, strict, and gave unsolicited orders. Banderia did the exact, but worse, thing in “El Muerto” He bossed everyone around, and did it in a very rude, unruly way. To make another quick comparison, Banderia could also relate to Odysseus through greed. All Banderia wanted was revenge, power, and money and would obtain it any way he knew he could. Finally, the comparison of Neoptolemus deceiving Philoctetes and Suarez being Banderia’s bodyguard. Neoptolemus pretended to be friends with Philoctetes so he could get off the island and go back on the ship with Odysseus, someone who betrayed him. He went in with intentions of doing what he was told, but he ended up caring for and trusting Philoctetes. Neoptolemus wasn’t even the person that convinced Philoctetes to go on the ship. It was the goddess in the sky who’s name I cannot think of right now. Suarez can be compared to Neoptolemus. He is always by Banderia’s and his bodyguard, his protecter. He does everything Banderia tells him to do. Banderia could tell Suarez to jump off a cliff, and he would do it. Well actually, I just thought of another comparison. Suarez to Neoptolemus and Banderia to Odysseus. Odysseus was the boss of Neoptolemus and made him do his dirty work. Enough with all these men. We came up with the comparison of Lysistrata in Lysistrata and Benjamin from”El Muerto”. Both characters were trying to lead their perspective groups. I enjoyed this activity because I like comparing and contrasting ideas and details.