U.S. Troops Frustrated With Role In Iraq -- good article, basically the morale is horrendously low and the soldiers are wondering why they're being put on jobs they're ill-suited for when they just want to go home. Also, more mention that Iraqis just plain don't want the Americans there. Oh, and tucked away somewhere near the end is... the soldiers aren't allowed to drink alcohol right now. Damn doo, that's harsh.
Hue and Cry on 'Whiteness Studies' is an interesting article about Racial relations in the classroom, but very biased (Please note that I am similarly biased, but still recognize its bias). However, this paragraph made me laugh:
David Horowitz, a conservative social critic who is white, said whiteness studies is leftist philosophy spiraling out of control. "Black studies celebrates blackness, Chicano studies celebrates Chicanos, women's studies celebrates women, and white studies attacks white people as evil," Horowitz said.
hahahahhahahah, sir, you need to participate rather than reading and critiquing. Because you, sir, have obviously never experienced racial prejudice.
On a more serious note, why I'm so adamant about racism issues: When I was going to elementary school, there was a new program opening up, "magnet program" they're called here in the USA (I'm not sure if non-American sorts would know this term). It was a program thought up in the 70's to try to integrate schools by having specialized programs to attract students from other areas of the city. I had previously been at the CMU preschool with other rich kids, and all of our parents acting on their hippie tendencies thought that this was a wonderful idea. The school chosen for all of us was the French Magnet (learn French from an early age!), but that wasn't why we went, we went because it was in the heart of the projects, and it showed active participation from our parents.
So, when I got there, the school was still 75% black, and in a black neighborhood. We were, of course, white. What I saw in those early years was ... terrible, for the lack of a better word. Yes, I was beaten up for being white, I was called a "Honky", I lost my first best friend in school because she wasn't allowed to hang out with the Honky Girl no more... and that all appalled me. But what appalled me more, if the white kids were to raise trouble in the classroom, they were given a verbal slap on the wrist, if that. If the black kids did less, they were sent off. I mean, one of the kids from my neighborhood imported in would do things like every time we had a grade-wide weekly quiz on something, she would make obnoxious noises every 10 seconds, just so she was always the center of attention, and NO ONE STOPPED HER. But a black girl ate one piece of candy in the corner, she was sent out.
I vividly recall being on the bus where the white kids competed (at the age of 6) over who would get to go to Harvard, while the black kids talked about their older sister being pregnant at 13s
Unsurprisingly, coming out of that school, the white kids had good grades, good future, and suddenly a neat bit on their application about the experimental program they endured in the projects. The black kids were still confined to said ghetto. About ten years ago, I picked up the paper to find that one of my former classmates was shot dead on that school playground. He was probably my first crush too. He wasn't the target, he was just there.
And that is probably a good part of why I hate the neighborhood I grew up in so much. I just know that way back then, I vowed to never see *anyone* in terms of the color of their skin. I falter on that sometimes, and I get really mad at myself every time. No one deserves to be subjected to that sort of prejudice. Dammit.
Anyway, as much as I'm saying the article is biased, it's right. Most white people live so isolated from the problem, even when "integrated", they just don't grok why there is any problem. I don't even know myself, I am white as well, and what I experienced I could walk away from and retreat to the safety net of my own neighborhood that never thought about being a race of whites. But I don't ever want to forget the very real problems that exist.
As a conclusion to my opinion about the magnet program, I do not regret going there, for all the hell I experienced (not just racial, but the rest is a subject I address in my JournalDark). The program did its job on me, at least, in teaching me much like the Whiteness Studies that racism is very real, very pressing, and very depressing. It's something I've kept with me always, and I'm glad that it has had me striving to keep myself to very strict ethics on the matter.
And on a very fluffy point, to save from posting again...
Last night I did laundry. Woo.