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Author: Christina Glynn

blog post 11/16

I found chapter 22 of People’s History of the United States, to be very interesting. Zinn discusses how in some presidential elections, especially Reagan’s and Bush’s, the media put on a different view of the election than what it actually was. I feel that some people have a similar view of this year’s election. Some people did not love either of the candidates. It was surprising to see if the Bush and Reagan elections that not a lot of people voted. Both the presidents were viewed as if they won by a lot and they have a lot of support but in reality, they actually faced some resistance. Zinn talks about how American’s protested against Raegan’s production of nuclear weapons. Throughout the chapter, Zinn focuses on different times American’s protested. He talks about the Chicano movement which was a movement in the 1980s that focused on Mexican descendants who lived in California and the Southwest that were unhappy with the foreign policy. Zinn discusses the times in America when Americans were in opposition towards systems that the government had set up and the different perspectives from the media and reality. 

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blog post 11/16

I found chapter 22 of People’s History of the United States to be very interesting. Zinn discusses how in some presidential elections, especially Reagan’s and Bush’s, the media put on a different view of the election than what it actually was. I feel that some people have a similar view of this year’s election. Some people did not love either of the candidates. It was surprising to see if the Bush and Reagan elections that not a lot of people voted. Both the presidents were viewed as if they won by a lot, and they have a lot of support, but in reality, they actually faced some resistance. Zinn talks about how American’s protested against Raegan’s production of nuclear weapons. Throughout the chapter, Zinn focuses on different times American’s protested. He talks about the Chicano movement, which was a movement in the 1980s that focused on Mexican descendants who lived in California and the Southwest that were unhappy with the foreign policy. Zinn discusses the times in America when Americans were in opposition towards systems that the government had set up and the different perspectives from the media and reality. 

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blog post 11/9

I found the article “Four decades and Counting” to be very interesting and surprising. I feel as though I was uneducated about the war on drugs and this article was quite englightening. It was interesting to see the parallels between the War on Drugs and Prohibition in the 1920s. Throughout our lives, we are told how awful drugs are and they are only for bad people but I feel as though it is not talked about the amount of money that is circulating in the drug economy. It is interesting to see the detriments that were brought about through the prohibition on drugs. The article discusses how there was a sharp decline in alcohol use after the law was in place but shortly after it spiked back up to the pre-prohibition levels. This highlights the idea that if something is taken away from people they will most likely find a way to have it back and therefore overindulge leading to over-use. 

 

It is interesting to see that Oregon just passed a law decriminalizing all drugs including cocaine and heroin. I am curious to see if this law will be passed in other states. I know that in Boston, there is a big issue with opioid use. Driving through Boston, there is a whole couple of miles that are filled with drug addicts. This is scary to see and I am curious to see the laws that will be passed throughout America decriminalizing drugs. 

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blog post 11/1

After “Platoon” I was in shock about the realities of the Vietnam War. I did not realize how much action the soldiers had to take against their own will. It was surprising to see that most of the soldiers did not want to go into warfare. It was also shocking to see how the different soldiers treated each other. I did not expect the men to be so disrespectful to each other. It seemed as though the soldiers were not even fighting for the same team. I expected the soldiers to be extremely supportive of each other and have each other’s back. This makes me wonder if this is common throughout other wars as well. It seems as though it was every man for himself and I never expected it to be like that.

Chris had an interesting perspective on the war. It seemed as though his perspective was always changing; his experience and role were never constant. He seems like he had such a positive perspective at the beginning of the war and as time went on it slowly shifted to be more negative and negative. Chris made it evident that the men in the war struggled mentally as well as physically in the war. 

I found the scene when they destroyed the village to be extremely disgusting. I know that war is gruesome but to see that in “real life” was honestly shocking and gross. It was scary to see that the young girl was raped and that the mom got killed. I did not think that American soldiers would do such a thing. 

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Blog post for 10/26

These poems by Langston emphasizes inequality in America during the Harlem Renaissance. These poems write stories of black men in American society and their struggles. The points of view in the poems help the reader understand the experiences of a black man to a deeper and more personal level. These poems made me feel overwhelmed with emotions and sadness to see that someone had to go through this. It is also shocking that some of the problems that are relevant throughout the poems are still prevalent in the world today.

In the poem “I, too,” Langston Hughes discusses the perspective of a black man in America fighting for equality. He uses the metaphor as a black man sitting at a separate dining table in a white household. Throughout the poem, he switches to the tone of a black man fighting for himself saying next time he is segregated he is going to stand up for himself and not let the white people in the house dictate where he sits. This poem is a metaphor for how black people are treated and how black contributes to American culture. 

In the poem “Theme for English B,” Langston Hughes writes about how he is is the only black person in his school class. This shows that the speaker is surrounded by people who have similar interests and intelligence. He discusses how even though he is black he still likes to do the same things that white people like to do. This emphasizes the idea that black and white people should be treated equally.

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Blog post 10/19

After reading the article, “World War Two Was Not a Just War,” and the PHUS chapter, “A People’s War,” I was honestly in shock. Throughout my history classes and other parts of my education, I was under the impression that the U.S. was somewhat of a hero during World War 2. I thought that America helped to saved Jewish people from the concentration camps. This seems to be an ongoing theme throughout American History that in early education young Americans are taught about how heroic and great our country is but as I continue to learn more details and I am exposed to different perspectives America is not as great as we think. 

Zinn discusses how the U.S. only entered the war after Pearl Harbor got bombed by Japan. Roosevelt portrayed the bombing as a shocking and terrible event but in reality, Roosevelt expected that the bombing was going to happen. Zinn talks about how the U.S. used the bombing of Pearl Harbor as an opportunity to advance in foreign relations and America’s image. This is surprising to learn because in history books and other parts of early American education this idea is often avoided. 

It was interesting to me when Zinn compared FDR and the Holocaust to Lincoln and the Civil War. It is viewed that FDR and Lincoln were fighting for human rights but instead, they both had other motives as well behind their actions. American’s view FDR as someone who fought for the human rights of Jewish people in the Holocaust and a hero during WW2 but he actually had other intentions such as economic interests in mind. This chapter of PHUS and the article gave me a new perspective on America’s intentions during World War 2 and these intentions are much different than what I have been taught in my American education.

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Blog post 10/8

After watching the video and reading about the Spanish Flu and Covid-19, I found it extremely interesting the similarities between these two pandemics. I expect COVID-19 to be more controlled due to the similarities and lessons learned from the Spanish Flu. The Spanish Flu infected 500 million people and killed around 20-50 million people worldwide. The first wave of the Spanish Flu had mild symptoms but the second wave was much more deadly. This is frightening because this could easily happen with COVID-19. It is known that history seems to repeat itself I hope that the second wave of this virus won’t be as deadly as the Spanish Flu. In the article called “Spanish Flu,” it is written that “Citizens were ordered to wear masks, schools, theaters, and businesses were shuttered.” This proves the parallel between the Spanish Flu and COVID-19. The government during the Spanish Flu and COVID-19 seemed to deal with the pandemic in similar ways. Wilson and Trump both underplayed the virus which made the spread in the United States to be even more rapid and detrimental to society and the health of the people. Both presidents were more interested in economic interests. 

The Spanish Flu and COVID-19 have an unbelievable amount of similarities. The technological advancements in the world today make it surprising to see how many similarities there are between the two pandemics. We would expect that the lessons learned about the Spanish Flu would give the world an idea of how to deal with and contain the virus. The medical advancements and research completed in the past 100 years make it surprising how the world does not know how to contain a pandemic. I hope within next year the world can make a vaccine and prevent the virus from killing even more millions of people.

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Blog Post 9/28

After reading chapter 9 of “A People’s History of the United States,” I was surprised to feel that I actually was taught in my schooling something very similar to what Zinn discusses. Previous chapters have made me feel as though I have been lied to but some of the facts that were brought about throughout this chapter were quite familiar to me. One thing that particularly stood out to me was the fact that Abraham Lincoln was not as heroic as we think. His intentions were not fully to abolish slavery but instead, he wanted to strengthen the Union. We look at Lincoln as a man who cared so deeply for the African Americans but instead his main source of motivation was to benefit himself. 

Later in the chapter, Zinn discusses the future for the slaves after the Civil War. Right after the Civil War laws were in place to try to allow the African Americans to have somewhat of an equal opportunity and resources in their lives. It was a big adjustment from having the African Americans being treated as property to them being viewed as equal. White plantation owners got their only way of making money taken away from them which created extreme anger. They were not ready to give up their power.

Another thing that stood out to me was Zinn’s question at the end of the chapter. He asked, “In the growth of American capitalism, before and after the Civil War, whites, as well as blacks, were in some sense becoming slaves?” This shows how people in power abuse their power. It is an ongoing cycle of the lower status of people being controlled by rich people who love to control others. 

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blog post for 9/21

I was in shock reading Howard Zinn’s “The Intimately Oppressed.” Coming from an all-girls middle and high school, I thought that I had learned most of what there was to learn about women’s oppression but I was wrong. Although there are still some inequalities between women and men in society today it is nothing compared to what was going on in the past. Zinn compares the treatment of women and slaves to each other and this shows the level of disrespect that women had. Women and slaves were even looked at as being biologically inferior to men. This made me wonder if black men treated their wives just as bad as white men. Were white men the only ones who looked at women as property? 

Women did rebel against the discrimination they faced. On page 109 Zinn writes that John Winthrop described Anne Hutchinson as “‘a woman of a haughty and fierce carriage, of a nimble wit and active spirit, and a very voluble tongue, more bold than a man, though in understanding and judgement, inferior to many women” (Zinn, 109). Zinn uses this quote by John Winthrop to show how certain women used their voices to stand up for themselves. Women like these are the reason that we now have more rights. Anne Hutchinson ended up being banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony because she was threatening to men and society as a whole.

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Blog post 9/14

After reading this chapter in “A People’s History of the United States,” I was in shock with the amount of information that I was not taught in school about the American Revolution. I am once again disappointed in the American schooling system. I knew the American Revolution as a time when the country came together and united as one to fight off the controlling British. Especially coming from Boston, I could never see anything wrong with the Patriots. It surprised me that the middle class were the ones who wanted the Revolutionary War, I always thought it was the upper class. From what I was taught in school, African slaves and Native Americans were often a small piece of the American Revolutionary. I never fully understood their side of the story until now.

 

I was taught that the U.S. Constitution was a fair document giving everyone somewhat equal rights and a way for the colonies to create a system of laws and a government. As I continue to read I realize it was a way for the elite in America to become even more elite. On page 90, Zinn writes “the rich must, in their own interest, either control the government directly or control the laws by which government operates.” This highlights the classism that was present at that time. The rich are going to make laws and set up a government that allows them to continue to become richer and richer creating an even larger difference between the rich and the poor. It has been an ongoing cycle of the top 1% making the laws that benefit the top 1%. This creates a disregard for the lower classes. I feel that this issue of wealth and power within our country is still an extremely prominent issue regarding the government and well-being of Americans. 

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Christina Glynn’s blog post for 9/7

I enjoyed these passages a lot more than the previous readings. I thought that the personal detailed information created a stronger sense of interest and understanding of the story. I didn’t feel too disappointed or disgusted after reading his passages compared to previous readings. I never realized how important food is until after reading Twitty’s passages. I personally am a huge foodie, I wake up every day and the first thing I think of is where I can get good food, but I never looked at food in the way Twitty does. I think of a food appreciation more like loving the taste rather than the background and culture behind the importance of where food comes from or whom it’s eaten with. On page 6, Twitty uses the metaphor “your plate is your flag.” This metaphor highlights the different cultures that are behind the food. The different food from different countries represents the importance of family recipes and culture that is behind every chef. For example, in my family every time we have a big family dinner my grandma will cook lasagna. My grandma’s ancestors are from Italy and this family recipe has been passed down for generations. I hope one day I can be in charge of the crinkled up paper with the lasagna recipe on it. 

In contrast to Twitty, I actually know my family’s ancestry. Although my family rarely talks about our Italian ancestry, I know where the lasagna recipe comes from which connects me with my family’s past and I am grateful for that opportunity. I cannot imagine the feeling Twitty has about the disconnection he feels to his ancestors. Although he is making up for it by cooking his culture’s food, the mystery of his ancestors is still present. The fact that many African American’s lack of access to their family tree is not talked about, is not okay. I never learned about this in school and am quite disappointed. Family recipes are a reminder to every family about the memories of past generations. It is a connection from parents to grandparents and so on, as well as a connection to people’s homeland.

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Christina Glynn’s blog post for 8/30

After reading the first chapter of Howard Zinn’s A Peoples of the United States, I am in disgust with Christopher Columbus, someone who I thought was so great. The American education system has taught children only one of the many perspectives of the story of Christopher Columbus. From historians to textbook writers to teachers there’s not one person to blame for the romanticizing of Columbus’ story. Columbus day is known as a celebration and most children only know Columbus as some hero who “discovered” America. Personally, as a child, I would always look forward to Columbus Day; It was a day off of school. I think the leaders of our country, teachers, historians, and as well as textbook writers need to expand on the idea that Christopher Columbus raped, killed, abused, and burned innocent people. Although I understand that it is easier “to emphasize the heroism of Columbus…and to deemphasize their genocide,” I feel that it is very wrong to avoid the truth of this man who we have been celebrating for centuries.

 

Christopher Columbus’ story is just one of the many stories in American history that are romanticized. Well to be exact, there aren’t any stories we are taught regarding the discovery of America that don’t involve Europeans taking over indigenous land. Zinn wrote that John Winthrop, the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, took over the Indian land because he thought they had a “‘natural’ right to it … a ‘natural right’ did not have legal standing.” This shows that the “discoverers” and “heroes” of America came to the land thinking that they owned every part of it with little to no respect or regard for the indigenous people who had been occupying the land for centuries. In addition to the Puritans, who were a part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the Pilgrims’ story of Thanksgiving is celebrated annually throughout the whole country. The romanticized story of Thanksgiving gives off the image that the Pilgrims did this great thing of hosting a huge feast with the indigenous people. The problem is it is often forgotten that the Pilgrims invaded the Indian’s land, crop fields, and animals. This shows that the leaders, historians, and textbook writers of our country are quite ashamed of some aspects of America’s history and the coming of our country.

 

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