This chapter discusses human trafficking. Human trafficking is one of the few injustices that many people around the world are aware of. I was not at all aware of the different types of human trafficking that there was throughout the world, until i read this chapter. When someone uses the term human trafficking, prostitution comes to mind, whereas, there are a lot of other ways to traffic people than just prostitution. Some of the different types of human trafficking would include industrial forced labour, minding forced labour, forced domestic labour, forced prostitution, forced child prostitution, bonded or independent labour and lastly military bondage. What shocked me the most about human trafficking was that the number of victims of human trafficking went into the millions and how it’s a transnational multi-billion dollar industry. I believe that we should educate society who are most likely to be victims of human trafficking.
Traditionally, racism is defined as views, practices and actions reflecting the belief that humanity is divided into distinct biological groups called races, and that members of a certain race share certain attributes which make that group as a whole less desirable or more desirable and inferior or superior. More than the political or intellectual systems, racism can be seen in the social system, and the main characteristics of a racist social system are:
1) where the visible minorities are denied cultural and physical space for cultural expression, identity formation and communication. For example when the Europeans first came to Canada and started developing the country, the Natives and Indians were banned from performing their traditional rituals and festivities, and if they did then they were punished for it.
2) coerced to adopt oppressor’s cultural modes for self expression and leading to assimmilation. Another example for this is from the British and Europeans excersising control over the Natives and Indians in an attempt to make them more civilised and hence sending them to the residential schools where they could be more white.
3) Relegated to low-paid, low-status, difficult, disempowering work, unemployment, underemployment, and poverty. For example when Canada was building the Canadian Pacific Railway to connect British Columbia to Ontario, they hired workers from China for their skilled labour, but they were paid less than their Canadian and Europen counterparts and were also not offered the same housing amenities.
The Gacaca system of Jurisprudence is a system that has been created by the Rawandan Government as a method of transitional justice designed to promote healing and moving on from the Rawandan Genocide. The system is geared to put justice in the hands of the survivors and making the punishment of perpetrators faster and less expensive to the state. It isn’t a very suitable method of justice because victim statements could be altered by the testimony of those before him or just because of fear of facing their culprit.
The most important core concept learned during class was bracketing. Bracketing is the ability to hold off all preconceived notions off to the side to allow new information to enter your brain without prejudice. Then once that information has entered (example: after a lesson) allow your old preconceived notions to synthesis and combine with the newly acquired information. I used this tactic of learning many times in the course including when the class discussed the specific issue of race and racism. As we discussed race I was forced to hold back my preconceived notions that race and racism and because of this I was allowed to learn more from the lecture. My own personal experience bracketing during class has greatly benefited me and one such example is how I used this concept during the lecture on race and racism.
Race was literally a “black” and “white” issue for me. I used to believe race was a biological fact created by ones genes and was something to set people apart. I held off this preconceived notion, using the learning method of bracketing, to the side the professor was able to enlighten me a more on the subject. I was informed throughout lectures dedicated to race that race was an unfounded human social construction. This statement could be proven with the human genome project. This project set out to determine if the differences in the human gene attributed to color could be illustrated somewhere in peoples genes. They found through this project there was no significant difference (or at least one which could set the races apart) between the genetic sequence of a “black” person and the genetic sequence of a “white” person. In short this project debunked the idea of race in a biological sense. However, we must all acknowledge race is real in a social setting.
Meanwhile my preconceived notion of racism was that it is an unsound concept developed out of peoples fear for one another and a desire to control one another. As I held these notions of to the side the lectures, in most part, the lectures reaffirmed that belief. We had many readings and discussions dedicated to how racism was unsound because biologically race doesn’t exist. The logic behind this is that if racism depends on race to exist it cannot be sound because race is not a biological fact.
After each lesson I allowed synthesis to occur and was able to see my previous ideas meld with the new information and I was amazed at the result. Discussions which occurred during class became easily acceptable as I held off my preconceived notions allowing my mind to enter a state in which information was free to enter. Meanwhile synthesis of previous ideas with new ideas allowed for critical thinking which is a golden state of mind in University studies. In conclusion bracketing was a core concept which helped me in re-evaluating and replacing my understanding of the specific issue of race and racism.
I really enjoyed listening to Veronica’s story on her journey through education and struggles that started in Libera. Her experience made me see a whole other side of the world. I loved when she said that being African was not a struggle or a burden, but was a pleasure. She was saying that North Americans have a misconception that because Africa is so poverty stricken, that the children and families are miserable and feel defeated. Veronica made me see that us north american’s had preconceived opinions about african’s, when really most children live happy, resilient lives and aren’t partial to the conditions that they live in. Listening to Veronica speak was enlightening and has taught me to drop any notions about any person/topic prior to meeting them.
Capatalism is based off of “survival of the fittest” but it creates huge gaps in between social classes. Ten percent of population holds most of the wealth. Capitalism is not good for distributing money but is good at producing it.
Capitalism is not such a great system it is pointed out to be in the media. It may be the best we have but this segment points to a great problem in capitalism that needs to be addressed somehow.
Social justice must include all these parts: economics, politics, social and cultural parts. Economic justice zeroes in on the individual and groups and the social order. Three principles comprise economic justice: principle of participation, principle of distribution, and the principle of harmony. Capatalism is an economic state that motivates people by allowing them to pursue wealth without interference from the government and in turn all people will benefit by job creation. A critique of capitalism is the fact that it seems to drive off of class inequality. It represents a survival of the fittest approach which creates huge differences in income levels. Some people are very rich while others are very poor. Socialism is a reaction to capitalism it is an economic state in which the government regulates properties and goods. Socialism goes with a “nobody left behind” approach. A critique of socialism is that it makes people lazy and inefficient.
U.S. presidents have numerous times set up oppressive regimes in middle eastern countries to protect their own interests. American policies in the Middle East are what believed by many to be what led to the Al-Qaeda attacks on 9/11. Preceeding war resulting from 9/11 have claimed many more American lives than the original attack that 9/11 did. Symbols are only given definitions by people. Therefore, symbols mean different things around the world. For example time here refers to the time on a clock meanwhile the time in Ghana refers to the position of the sun in the sky. Social constructionism is the assumption there is nothing natural about the world we live in. Critical constructionism is the theory that society’s elite controls the opinion of the mainstream. This is o the expense of those with the least power in society. An example of critical constructivism is how corporate crime and street crime are treated by police. Police are harder on street crime rather than corporate crime because it is beneficial to the ruling elite. Hegemony is the process in which the ruling elite dominate through consensus of the dominated. The world is becoming more globalized with increased transportation and goods showing up all over the world from different origins.
Race is not matter of how you actually look but how perceive the way you look. 3 forms of oppression: institutionalized oppression, interpersonal oppression, and internalized oppression. Invalidation is a key for inequality. Invalidation myths are used to keep a class down for instance a gay invalidation myth is that they are immoral and promiscuous. Female invalidation myths are that we are the weaker sex. Black invalidation myths are that they are inferior beings. Invalidation ideologies build on invalidation myths by creating misleading theories. Prejudice is judging a group negatively. Stereotyping has two consequences which are oversimplified process of mutual cognition and the second is the prevailing of prejudices.
Invalidation provides people with the power to define others which is a powerful tool. Powerful members of society are able to use invalidation on those with less power and can do this on a whim based on prejudices. Invalidation seeks to disadvantage certain groups. The invalidated people of society in the long run suffer because they are labeled and it is hard to escape that label.
In the article, “Debt: The New Colonialism”, I learned that third world countries are in immense debt to North American countries from many years ago. These third world countries are paying the northern countries about $1 billion a day. North American countries were administering loans to third world countries as “foreign aid”, but really was a cover for future corruption. Due to an increase in interest rates the cost of repaying the loans has gone up extremely. As a result, in order to pay back the debt, third world countries have to cut public spending in the areas of health care and education. Many people have died due to malnutrition and others are getting poorer and poorer as the small holders of farms are forced off their land since there crops are being differentiated amongst crops grown by large commercial farms which are being exported.
What is the reading about?
- How differing religions are created and how religion maintains its authority, also the advent of Christianity and how Christianity came to the U.S.A
- Attitudes toward homosexuality through the ages and how homosexuality is portrayed in religion, specifically in Christianity
How do I just FEEL about the reading I finished?
- I feel more knowledgeable as to what ex-gay ministries stand for and gay affirming ministries stand for
- Astonished people believe being gay is something you can change and something you can “get over”
What do I THINK about the reading I just finished?
- I think Christianity promotes hetero-sexist behaviour and it is terrible that in a place we call a first world Country still believes in something that was created in medieval times.
- I think with so many examples of groups of people being oppressed (ex: Black slaves) and having to fight for their rights throughout history people haven’t learned anything and continue to withhold rights for homosexuals
What do I BELIEVE about the reading I just finished?
- I believe all religion that promotes the judging of others and promotes discriminating against others for behaviour that is harmful to nobody is wrong
- I believe people deserve to be taught the truth not mindless religion aka: beliefs from the cavemen era.
- I believe the existence of gay affirming ministries themselves are proof that Christianity is illegitimate
What do I KNOW about the reading I just finished?
- I know that no matter how much I believe that by living in the modern age giving everyone equal rights should be common sense there will still be those who cling to religion as a reason to discriminate homosexuals
- I know religion and Christianity is not something that is going to go away in the U.S.A anytime soon