Saturday, July 9, 2016

Reflecting On Society

It was a long day. We had a much needed discussion about race and policing as well as the lives lost in the recent killings. Our guest speaker, had an answer to everything we asked her. I don’t know if it’s because she majored in African American Studies or because she’s so intuitive and knowledgeable or even her past experiences or all of the above. She told us about the occurrences in the past of how people of color were mistreated by police and how they abused their power. They would give trumped up charges against them if they did a minor or petty crime or if they did nothing at all such as look at the officer the wrong way or asked a question like, “Why are you beating up that boy?” or even leaving their boss who would beat and abuse them. In jail, they were given daily beatings against their will and even had dangerous jobs that could get them killed. In the early 20th Century, the police used policing for social control and power. This type of method led to distrust from the people.

The people couldn’t even move out of the area if they wanted to. In 1968, they created moving contracts that made it harder for them to move, but even if they did manage to, the area they were moving to the people wouldn’t welcome them. They vandalized their homes, formed mobs, etc. the would do anything to get the black people to return back to where they originally came from. The worst thing about it is, the people who were inflicting the damage and the crimes are left unpunished. The people who are punished are the people who are highly expected to be committing such crimes. Soon, rebuttals throughout different cities began to occur only making policing harsher.
Museum Plaque 
For our field trip today, we went to the African American Museum. The place was unique. The different exhibits they had were nothing I have ever seen before. In one room, they had cardboard cutouts of different people in history, Frederick Douglas, Richard Allen, Harriet Tubman, etc. formed into a massive collage and had a podium of different buttons to give a presentation about different things people of color have accomplished or a part of their history, culture, art, work, etc. In front of the collage was a table connected giving a description about what each cutout was.

Cultural Collage
In the next room we had come to was filled with large moving pictures. They were pre-recordings of actors pretending to be a famous person in history. I watched Elizabeth Taylor. She spoke to me as I pressed the button on the side of the screen and explained to me why she returned to work for the woman who enslaved her. In her story, she said that her owner had released and set all of her slaves free. She had treated her nicely the whole time she was working that she had decided to return to her. Elizabeth Taylor is also a musician. She would use her boss’s library in her home to teach herself music and how to sing.

The final room I had went to showed black oppression. Paintings along the walls had shown men being hosed down by police or being stopped and frisked. In the window, there was an image of men working in a factory getting paid one cent per hour doing slave labor. What really intrigued me the most is a video of six men that you would see from this day in age on the street. In video shown through a projector was each of them sharing how many times they were stopped by the police. All of them were different shades of color but the one who was the darkest and had dreads was stopped the most. The amount had exceeding over twenty times. That is racial profiling. They had no probable cause to stop him in the first place. It’s extremely shameful how society is treating others in this type of way and is still continuing today from back during segregated times.

Elizabeth Taylor Green 

Returning back to the Quad, one of my dorm mates, Daphne, had asked me to go to Urban Outfitters with her. I was a bit tired from walking but agreed so she wouldn’t be walking alone. Urban Outfitters is located on the same block as the UPENN bookstore. While we use to walk all over with John, we would always pass by it. Daphne is from Hong Kong. She told me that in Hong Kong there is no Urban Outfitters and she’s always wanted to go there. As we were walking, she had told me about life out there. She said that the weather out there was extremely hot and way more humid than what it was in Philly. Sometimes it would get so bad that they couldn’t even be outside. The food there is delicious and the people are nice. She really loves it there but wants to travel and see the world.

Volunteer Presenting Stop and Frisk Painting
Right when we entered the dorm again, I had received a text from Diana that she was ready to leave for Shake Shack. I said bye to Daphne and began walking towards Diana’s dorm. She was downstairs with two of her friends in no time. Shake Shack is about ten to fifteen minutes away from the Quad, which is pretty close. Before we went to Shake Shack, Diana and I went to find it after returning from the fieldtrip to save us some time later on. We knew we were there as soon as we saw a glowing green light in the shape of a burger. I had ordered krinkle cut fries with a chicken hot dog and a black and white shake. Since I was the first to order, my order came first. I went upstairs and grabbed a booth for all of us to sit in. A bit later, the three of them came up the stairs and joined me. My food was delicious, especially the shake. Diana and I have been told by John that Shake Shack is like the In N Out of the East Coast. In my opinion, I believe that Shake Shack is better because they have a wide variety of food to choose from that isn’t only beef like In N Out is. I guess I can’t talk too much since the only thing at In N Out that I can actually eat is their fries and shakes.

Inside Shake Shack
We had left Shake Shack in pursuit of catching our movies. The three of them were seeing the Legend of Tarzan at 6:45 PM while I was going to see The Purge: Election Year at 7:30 PM. We made it back just in time for them to get their tickets. I waited in my room for a little while to until it was closer time for my movie to start. I waited in line like everyone else waiting patiently for my turn to be next. One by one the RC’s marked people off the list and handed them their tickets. As I received my ticket, I walked down to the local Cinemax Movie Theatre. I didn’t know anyone who was going to watch The Purge. Everyone that I talked to mentioned that they were seeing all of the movies except The Purge. I walked into the theatre and stood in the concessions line. I was pretty thirsty and craved the quench from lemonade. A familiar face had cut me in line. They turned around and it turned out to be a girl I had meet earlier today and was in my Social Justice class, Jasmine. She offered to have me sit with her and her friends and I appreciatively accepted her offer.

The Purge Ticket
Her friends were sitting in the back of the room in the second to last row. It was a struggle trying to squeeze past this many people but we eventually made it through. It was Jasmine’s first horror movie which made today really exciting for her. The movie lasted about one and half hours which wasn’t long. I enjoy watching scary movies for the suspense, I never actually get scared. From all of the movies I watched, the one that ever scared me was Silence of the Lambs. That movie is disturbing on a whole other level. The Purge wasn’t as scary as how they made it in the trailers. The masks were grotesque and the killing was a bit gory, but despite that it was intriguingly different. It made me reflect on society from the past to present on how twisted some people’s perspectives are. What really made me scared is how I wouldn’t be too surprised if a government in this world actually falls through with the same concept and puts it in effect with the rate of problems that are occurring now.  

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