Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Boer Genocide

Only those who have directly experienced it, can imagine the pain of being exploited simply because of the color of one's skin or the belief system of which they follow. The Holocaust was certainly one of the largest genocides the world has ever seen, however this obscene behavior did not stop there. It is shown today in communities all over the world and modern-day genocides are occurring as we speak.

Since a black majority government came into power in South Africa in 1994, there have been thousands of murders based upon a reason no other than simple, unjustified hatred. These acts of ignorance have been committed against what we know as “Boers”. These are descendants from mainly Dutch and French colonists who represent a community of farming and currently are responsible for supplying South Africa with about 95% of its food needs (Hubpages). More than 3600 whites have been murdered in farm attacks in South Africa since 1994 (Hubpages). Also many of the women murdered are first raped, and it is made apparent by the attackers that it is of racial motivation that the killing took place (Hubpages). These acts display gruesome and brutal intentions and convey a strong sense of communism to witnesses. Whites have also been intentionally run down by black taxi drivers while simply making their way to work or school via bicycle. In one case, the taxi driver even admitted to his intentions: “'It was not a mistake. It was not negligence...'” (Boer genocide blog). These people know exactly what they're doing and why they are doing it, so will it ever stop, or just continue as an ongoing cycle?

Most of these brutal attacks have included self-declared racists motivations for the gruesome killing of these farmers. These attacks similarly resemble that of the Civil Rights movement in the United States years ago. The attacks being made are unjust and for a one simply poor explanation: hated. Hating a person solely based upon the color of their skin is an issue that has been prominent in many societies since the beginning of time. Although this warped outlook may never be abolished, through awareness and the power of unity, changes can be made to reduce these awful attacks. The Boer people deserve life just as much as everyone else; do they not?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Society's Revolutions Today: Blessings or Burdens?

In our society today there are an array of newly sparked revolutions that promote a different lifestyle than what has been previously accepted socially in the past. Current generational norms such as social media, lack of family urgency, and cell phone dependency, have become revolutions in our society that have their share of positive attributes but also several negative effects.
The rise of social media has been inclining for about a decade now and ,most believe, still has not reached it's peak. Social media is used generously for business tactics and promotions, social hobby, and simply a way for people to band together and reach out to one another due to common interests. It has changed the way this generation and those to come have viewed technology and ultimately communication as a whole. It has altered the way we as people interact with one another, exposing us to an alternate, almost secluded world of communication. It has promoted literacy, but also lessened it's importance in aspects. Social media is seen by some as one of the best pieces of technology and form of communication ever exposed to man, but to some it is nothing but a burden. When it is used in its proper, interned way, it appears effective and engaging for most, however when it is abused and put to negative use, such as cyber bullying, it's effects can be deadly and cause much more harm than good. Even with these two battling sides, social media remains a soaring power in our society today.
Also present in our generation and those below us is a lack of family values and fundamentals. It is not prominent everywhere, but in a lot of families it is no longer a tradition to sit around the table together every night and eat dinner with one another. Rather, everyone is off in their own direction, doing their own thing and staying busy, making the illusion that there is no time for “family dinner”. In our society today, everyone moves at such a fast past and barely stops to just take in what matters the most. A lot of people take things like family for granted and don't spend enough time valuing what they have. But on the other hand,some believe family isn't the most important part, but rather developing into your own person and being independent and self sufficient just as a animals do when they are old enough to expand on their own and leave “the nest”. In our society today family has taken almost a backseat to other priorities, much different from the values of past generations and previous stages of our culture's inevitable evolution.
Lastly, cell phones have taken center stage when it comes to our dependency on technology and communication today. People of all ages have them, whether they are 8 or 80, people rely on cell phones to do almost everything for them. They have revolutionized our method of communication and also our usage of communication to one another, in some cases in an abusive, over-used matter. Cell phones have promoted our accessibility of communication to one another and established convenience, however they can be seen as a major distraction to things like driving, and in most of our cases school work. For some they have become a past time, text messaging and talking for hours and hours and neglecting important tasks. They fall somewhat into the same category as social media when it comes to pros and cons. They as well will be an ever-debated issue.
Our society today contains tools for a better tomorrow, but if those tools are abused the results can be far from the intended purpose. Values in the eyes of people have changed, for better, or for worse but in the end it all comes down to us, the people, and how we deal with these revolutions and situations humanistic wise. No amount of technological advances, or shifts in common belief can ever replace natural human instinct.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mentor text: Max Keeble's Big Move

I chose Disney’s Max Keeble’s Big Move as my mentor text this time around for a few reasons. This movie perfectly displays the stereo typical middle-school experience, but focuses its attention on a select group of children and identifies the viewer with their true identities, rather than what they are labeled at school. Watching this movie has helped me to incorporate more detail in the characteristics of the characters I am using and identify with what other label them as versus what is really going on inside their head-what their true thoughts and feelings consist of.

This movie captures all angles and cliques of middle-school aged children and their experiences within their years of middle school. Kids face a harsh reality growing up and attending public school, but as we grow older and begin to mature I believe we familiarize ourselves with who we really are and learn whom others truly are inside also. This stage is more of the high-school level of thinking, but rather my story and Max Keeble’s Big Move share the common ground of taking place in a setting that in not yet conducive to the maturity of finding yourself, but more along the lines of just trying to fit in with the crowd around you.

In the movie, we see Max’s strive for the most popular girl in school, when he is simply a “loser” and the task seems impossible. With the help of his ultra high confidence after being informed he’s moving away, he tries for a shot at the girl of his dreams figuring he now has nothing to loose. When she shows interest back, everyone is shocked simply because they come from two completely opposite groups or labeled categories. This connects to my story in that the girl who is a so-called “loser” communicates to the most popular girl in school through conversations in marker on the bathroom stall, but they both lack the knowledge of just whom they are talking to. Although their peers view them as two completely opposite people, they happen to share some vast similarities that no one would ever expect when looking from the outside.

Watching this movie has provided me with much more insight and ideas around the stereotypical functioning of the child’s mind in middle school and their actions as a result of their dire need to constantly fit in, rather than just expressing who they are themselves.