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Author: Morgan Crocker

Blog post for 11/30

           Dear White People is a movie that shows us a predominantly white university and the struggles the black population goes through and the discrimination they have to face. This movie does justice in showing the harsh realities black college students have to face when it comes to going to a university that contains mostly white students. This movie also shows how white people want to use black culture without respecting the black community and without having to face the bad side of being black. Sam shows no hesitation when she starts her radio show, she calls out her fellow white classmates and professors for being racist or for participating in racist actions.
Dear White People had a clear message and was very relevant, especially to me since I am a black person going to a pwi. This movie shows how white people take certain aspects of black identity, as in the fun aspects of black culture, or the parts that will benefit them. The movie also shows how black people are always being criticized for everything they do, a white person could do the same thing and wouldn’t get criticized or atleast would not be criticized as harshly as a black person would. I believe that everyone should watch Dear White People so they can begin to educate themselves on what is happening in the world today, and to make it known that there is still racism everywhere we go.

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Morgan Crocker blog post 11/16

Zinn’s chapter, “Unreported Resistance” along with the Ezra Klein show podcast really made me interested in the divide we have in this country. Such a large group of Americans are let down by our country’s government over the years, this has been happening all throughout history. The leaders of our country, like Bush and Reagan, keep going against the majority opinion of Americans. Making decisions that only benefit a certain group of Americans, usually the rich white Americans. But during the time these two presidents were in office there seemed to be a lot of resistance from Americans. The people were sticking up for themselves and fighting to get what they deserve.

Zinn, as he usually does, talked about different civil disobedience acts that I never learned about in any of my history classes in school. Americans protested for numerous reasons, like in the 1980s they went against Reagan since he was focused on producing nuclear weapons. And no American wanted to be apart of a nuclear war, just because Reagan wanted to assert his dominance during the Cold War. Reagan also adopted an economy position that resulted in the reduction and elimination of social services. The cuts in social services had a lot of Americans angry, because it left many Americans unable to take care of their needs which was vital. The last thing Zinn talks about his how democrats and republicans are not that different and the real divide comes from class differences.

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Morgan Crocker blog post for 11/09

The movie Just Mercy really showed us the criminal justice system and all the flaws that it has. Specifically the flaws of it not being equal and are bias to African Americans and other minorities. In the court system people of color are more likely to be incarcerated for a crime they did not do, just because of their skin color. If a white person got caught for the same thing as a person of color it is automatically expected that the white person would get a shorter sentence or even just get a warning while the person of color would get the worst punishment possible. Just Mercy uses Walter McMilian as a narrative to talk about the corrupt power in his case. The corrupt power comes from having foundations in white supremacy.
Before reading this I did not really know what the “war on drugs” truly meant. I did not know that this brought a lot of harm to the African American community. Nixon wanted to criminalize heroin and by doing that also associating criminalization with the African American community. The court system should work on ending the war on drugs so we can keep minorities out of prison for unreasonable drug charges. So instead of going to prison they can work on overcoming their addiction and learn to not use drugs as a replacement for coping for traumatic experiences.

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Morgan Crocker Blog Post for 11/2

Watching platoon by Oliver Stone gave me a new perspective on what war is really like for soldiers. In reality it was cruel in Vietnam, what really shocked me was how untrained the soldiers were to the type of warfare in Vietnam. Guerilla warfare was used, which was a new style for the United States and was also pretty dangerous since the soldiers were so unfamiliar to the geography and climate in Vietnam.  Oliver Stone actually went to Vietnam to fight in the war, which made the movie more realistic. Unlike all the other war movies that are made just to entertain people.
What is really crazy to me is how a lot of the soldiers did not believe in this war, meaning they did not want to go and fight in Vietnam. But since they were drafted they had to go and risk their lives. Some men did volunteer to go to Vietnam, but either way these men came back to the United States changed because of all that they have seen and been through in Vietnam.

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Morgan Crocker Blog Post 10/26

Langston Hughes was a famous 20th century African American poet, and was one of the main known figures of the Harlem Renaissance. Langston Hughes used his poems to express African American culture and his hope for equality and racial justice in America. Throughout school in history classes I actually learned a lot about Langston Hughes, I even had to memorize some of his poems and be able to recite them in middle school. So I was happy to continue reading and learning about Langston Hughes and his poems.

One of his poems that really caught my attention was “Let America Be America Again” in this poem Langston Hughes really shows the disparities in American prosperity. Langston Hughes basically challenges America to live up to what the founders wanted America to look like. He believes to be able to do that America has to rebuild itself instead of just fixing what is already there, because the system is broken. Hughes shows the readers how African Americans struggle immensely because of racial inequality in America, he basically states in the land of the free African Americans still aren’t free. Due to how oppressive the system is for African Americans in America.

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Morgan Crocker blog post 10/18

Just like all the other chapters in Howard Zinn’s book, the chapter on World War II showed me a view of the war I never learned about in any of my history classes. I was surprised by what really motivated the United States to enter the war, the U.S. world interests being threatened by Germany and Japan. In past history lessons they claimed they entered the war for morality reasons and painted the United States as the heroes, when in reality that’s false. They put Japanese-Americans in internment camps and they dropped 2 bombs on Japan without even giving a single warning to the civilians even though that was suggested. Also they still continued to bomb japan after receiving intel that Japan was considering peace allegations.
The U.S. used the bombings of Japan as a way to assert their dominance in the military, and to leave the war being one of the most powerful countries. The last thing that I fount interesting was how Zinn compared FDR to Lincoln. Zinn pointed out that we were taught in our history classes that they were fighting for human rights, when really they both had other motives during the civil war and WWII. FDR had economic interests at mind, but we were taught he fought for the human rights of jewish people during the holocaust and was an all around hero during WWII.

 

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Blog Post for 10/12

I don’t really remember learning about the Spanish Flu of 1918, even though it was the world’s most recent large pandemic. Since the world did not the modern healthcare treatments to deal with the flu, the average life expectancy for young people went down exponentially by decades. Many doctors at the time of the Spanish Flu over prescribed aspirin, which led to poisoning, but that did not stop other people from continuing to take lethal doses as well from the fear of the pandemic. We are currently in a pandemic right now and quite frankly it is kind of concerning to see all the similarities between these two pandemics.

As a society we should have learned from the Spanish Flu of 1918, but apparently we did not since we are repeating some of the same mistakes from all those years ago. For example in misinformation really did not help the situation way back then, and now we are suffering from misinformation from scientific leaders in a rushed attempt to give the people information about the virus. In Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, parallels between the two pandemics were shown. The video also proved how current administration is failing to address the same problems from 1918 as well as failing to flatten the curve. While the reading simply informs us about the Spanish Flu of 1918 and how deadly it truly was to the people at the time.

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Morgan Crocker Blog Post for 9/21

Howard Zinn’s chapter, ” The Ultimately Oppressed,” really shows the gender inequality in the 18th and 19th centuries, and how it is based on culture, status, and race. We learned about women and how they were treated, but I never knew they were treated this bad. What surprised me was Zinn talking about how women from Native American tribes were treated with the same amount of respect as men. While white and black women were mistreated frequently and were basically used for child making purposes or as a sex slave. Sojourner Truth was a name that I had heard about from past history lessons, but I never learned everything she had to go through. She worked the fields and would get lashed when punished, and had to watch all her kids get sold into slavery, all because she was a black woman and no one helped her because of that.

In this chapter, Zinn explains the mistreatment of woman as half the population being invisible. Women were objectified by men because of how they looked, this makes it seem like women were viewed as property instead of human by men. What is really crazy to me is how some of these men tried to justify their way of viewing women by using their religion. We still have some inequalities when it comes to gender today, but looking back at how women were treated throughout history it was a lot worse. But that does not mean women have to settle with how we are treated right now, it just means we have to do like the woman in history did, and fight for equality.

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Morgan Crocker Blog Post for 09/14

The American Revolution is something we were taught all throughout our schooling, so of course when asked most people would know what it is and why it happened. But Zinn proved to me that I was wrong and was missing key information about the revolutionary war.  This information was never taught in any of my history classes because it was based off the common folk, and most history lessons are based on the heroes/the important people. For example, I had no idea a lot of the colonists did not want to have the revolutionary war, and the ones that did were the middle class. And the main reason they supported the revolution was not because they wanted to rebel and hated England, but because of economic reasons. The only reason the colonist did end up fighting was because they were legally being forced to fight, not because they felt the revolution was necessary and supported starting a war with England.

Reading this chapter and reading the past chapters, I have realized there has always been some kind of separation between the rich and the poor. The rich fully supported this war and was happy by its success, while the poor was the reason behind the success of the war since they were the main ones fighting. I feel like in most historical events the rich always end up being the only people that benefit from whatever event happened. The big companies and wealthy men get more money in their pockets, while the poor people work underneath the wealthy people and never get credit for all the hard work they do. Without the working class a lot of jobs would go undone and would heavily affect the world. While if we didn’t have the wealthy men that history seems to put on a pedestal the world would not be heavily affected.

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Morgan Crocker Blog Post For 9/7

Reading Twitty’s “No More Whistling Walk For Me” really made me think about how history books leave out how badly Africans were treated. Sure the textbooks would talk about slavery and how it was bad, but they never went into detail about how white people mistreated them and all the pain and trauma Africans had to endure just because Europeans were lazy and did not feel like doing the hard work themselves. I feel like Twitty’s stories should be put in history textbooks to get first hand examples of how Africans felt when they were forced into slavery. Twitty stated, “In all my days, I have been asked to prove everything I have ever said, but I have never heard a single one of those docents challenged for using racist folk history as fact.” I feel like that is still a common problem African Americans or just people of color go through, having to prove the things they say so people will believe them. While white people usually do not have to prove every little thing they say, because they are seen as the dominant race which leads people to believe they are smarter as well.  Putting Twitty’s stories in textbooks would show other African Americans how he grew up not liking soul food and also not liking being black, which could potentially help black kids learn what it means to be African American so they won’t grow up hating their history and believing it is all bad.

Twitty also really made me think about southern and soul cuisines and how racial stereotypes, prejudices, cultural attitudes, and intercultural misunderstandings are connected. Southern cuisine is associated with white people, while soul cuisine is associated with black people. What I never really thought about before reading Twitty’s stories was the fact that food was and still is a gateway African Americans can use to feel their way into their past and open up conversations about individuals and group survival. As well as how much goes into cooking, Twitty brings politics and race, sexuality and spirituality, memory, anger, etc by using all of this twitty masters measurements, recipes, and things like that. This shows how helpful knowing your own past is, along with knowing the past of your people.

 

 

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Morgan Crocker Blog Post For 8/30

After reading Howard Zinn’s first chapter of A People’s History of the United States, I realized this book would be interesting because it will tell the story of a familiar historical event from an unfamiliar perspective. The perspective Zinn uses is the perspective of “the people”, not of “the heroes”. I am pretty sure everyone learned about how Christopher Columbus was a hero and sailed across the sea and found this New World, North America, in the middle of his voyage.  Well Zinn uses the perspective of the Arawak to tell the story, by doing this he introduces new information to the readers that was not taught in school. New information like, Columbus being greedy, ruthless, and navigationally incompetent which leads us to the simple truth, there was nothing noble or heroic about Columbus’s expeditions to the New World. The natives welcomed the foreigners even though they were invading their land, and the invaders like Christopher Columbus, Francisco Pizarro, and Hernando Cortes still responded with violence and cruelty. For some reason the history textbooks left that part out, which led many people to believe these men were heroes for finding all this new land and getting rid of the natives.

 

Howard Zinn makes it clear that his book is not just another history book filled with the same typical boring history lessons. Instead it is a book responding and challenging the many history lessons that have been from the perspective of conquerors, colonizers, and etc. By writing this book Zinn is telling a version of history that is typically not taught in schools, this version holds people like Christopher Columbus accountable for their crimes which is great. Columbus and other known explorers seemed to not express any guilt about torturing and murdering innocent people that were in their way of conquering new land and new wealth. Zinn uses comparisons between the people of today and the conquerors from history, that really showed how Americans have not really changed. Just like in history we are divided between the rich and the poor, the powerful and the powerless, we definitely have changed since 1492, but not as much as the history textbooks make it seem.

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