Showing posts with label Culture & Diversity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Culture & Diversity. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Diversity and Culture post-Charlottesville: Expanding your child's horizon reduces ignorance

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Okay, by now most of America (and the world) has been apprised of the issues that has plagued this country for years.  Racial tensions have been refuted and swept under a rug for so long that the tension has swollen and taken on fever. We keep seeing eruptions here and there as those who'd like to see America revert in part back to the 1500's-early 1900's make efforts to have their dreams made a reality; while the oppressed - and those who know equality is right- try to gain true equal rights for everyone here in the country they love.  This is true for almost every shade, religion, sexual orientation, and disability.

A lot of recent awareness by those who were in denial has created a sense surprise.  How could this be happening?  It's been happening outside of your neighborhood, or covertly if it has.  People have been red-lined and steered out of certain neighborhoods while the privileged enjoy their privilege in naivety, or even out of selfish aloofness.  People have experienced these civil rights violations under the guise of something else at work:  "It's hard to approach you".  "Your food odors bother others," are some of the complaints often seen in evaluations of the people you regard as great employees at the workplace.  Having been pulled over regularly and even harassed by law enforcement with "What are you doing in this car, What do you do for a living," questions.  Simply because you happen to like Mercedes brand cars, and worked hard to buy one.

If you now see that racism comes not just by blatant words or vicious attacks, welcome to your awakening.  Stay woke. And enlighten your Alpha Gen child. I know what you're thinking. Whoa, Ele, you're going to far, I don't want to have my child(ren) exposed to that just yet.

I understand - I'm the same way.  But here's how to get started without burdening them.  EXPOSE THEM TO OTHER CULTURES. Plain and simple.  Stop sheltering them; creating a false "universe" by making them believe that their culture is the only that exists.   Place them in a multi-cultural school.  If that's not possible, have them participate in multi-cultural activities, sports, camps. etc. Let them learn at a younger age to be understanding of other views, religions, skin tones, and personalities.   Humans have a huge propensity to adapt to our environments, and children are the best at this gift.  Immerse them early so that by understanding, they can learn to appreciate the cultural ingredients that make up this melting pot. As they grow older, teach them how having differences doesn't mean one is better than the other, but makes us stronger if we embrace it.

If we find this difficult to do, then we ourselves need to get out of our comfort zone and immerse ourselves in other cultures.  Start small and work your way up.  Meet people you may have not have approached before when you sign up for that Frisbee league. Create new comfort zones. For yourself, for your children.  For your country. Be that example, that newly planted seed as we weed out the bigotry and hate that hinders us from reaching our full potential as humans.  Let get more focused on forwarding the human race instead of hindering it.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Steve Stephens is an example of why we need a better US political system

Why I'm becoming more independent in an increasingly polarized political country 

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I hear constantly on the news that our country is becoming more and more polarized, as it seems that voter views are less cooperative and "center-aisle," but more increasingly divided.  We have always had factions within each party, but it appeared that as early as 25 years ago, people were more likely to truly "reach across the aisle" to reach a compromise for the good of the country.  This allowed for our country to focus more upon the things that mattered:


Don't get me wrong, the idea of war has always loomed over us like a dark cloud, and there have been some that have fully embraced and encouraged it -for whatever reason - but it seems now that people are crazier; just up and deciding to kill innocent strangers that they might encounter on the streets, or pushing propaganda to spark wars because they have significant investments in defense equipment.  Long gone are the days where you can leave your doors unlocked, but now it seems you can't even drive home or walk along the sidewalk.  Legislation has been proposed to control violence, but they're constantly blocked because either the person sponsoring the bill is part of the "enemy party", or because legislators have become puppets of the lobbyists that support them. Whenever we think we're getting somewhere, the next group comes in an removes any progress made. We send troops to a region, the next administration takes them away without a solid strategy.  We set up laws to improve the environment or transform our healthcare, and our successors start removing those as soon as they take office instead of acknowledging the good intent, and working to improve upon the areas of those laws that need improvement.  It's no wonder so many polls reveal we don't feel any safer than we did a little after 9/11. 
Then in 2002:
Spurred by the catastrophic events of Sept. 11 and the organizational aftershocks that followed, President George W. Bush and Congress recently established the ...
Recently, 4th quarter 2016 poll
As Acts of Terror Proliferate, Americans See No End in Sight August 22, 2016. By: Dina Smeltz, Senior Fellow, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy; Karl Friedhoff ...
And remember we are not just fearing our safety from external terror.  There are many forms of terror arising within our own borders.  Random disgruntled or mentally disturbed people are shooting random strangers at movies theatres, malls, churches, and schools.  Bigotry, racism, sexism, xenophobia and homophobia are on the rise, and people are acting on impulses more than ever. Large corporations are treating both its employees and its customers more like easily replaced commodities than humans. Neither political party has provided us with a sound direction for easing the tension and fear. Something as simple as mandating recurring mental health screenings in order to retain a lawful firearm license could help combat issues... but that would never become law. While we can argue this could be due mostly to political obstructionism, there still lies the responsibility to respect all opinions and cooperate for the greater good.   Would Steve Stephens have been able to kill Robert Godwin if a proper mental health screen was done?  Maybe- but it most likely wouldn't have been done with a legally purchased gun, and would have reduced the likelihood of the death.  We'll never know. We've got to stop with the party-against-party model and work together. 



It seems like those days where you work your way up the education system to have a leadership role have departed. Now, you can sit on a board or obtain a leadership position if you donate enough money and align yourself with other well off donors and lobbyists.  Next thing you know, your child's education is in the hands of someone like this just because of we utilize electoral college versus popular vote.  Cabinet members full of people that didn't even have to campaign.  We have a very limited understanding of their viewpoints and in what direction they'd move the federal department they've been cherry picked to run.  Then the next administration could very well dismantle (for better or worse) what was put in place by the current administration. Over time, we see that our country is pretty much at a stalemate...moving forward at a crawl pace, if moving at all. We need to push past all of this back and forth, and actually make progress for our country, for our youth, and for our safety.  Maybe, just maybe, it would benefit us as a whole to have more independent thinkers and those willing to work with others (not just give rhetoric) to actually get something accomplished.

These are my opinions- just opinions - on why those considered Moderate Republicans or Blue-dog Democrats should resurface and let their voices be heard again.  Why is it so wrong to think progressively while also valuing a great defense program for your country? Why can't you have a mix of liberal and conservative ideals in this country anymore without being attacked for not being a loyal party member? Aren't we all here to support the growth and strength of our country?  Why do you have to choose one side or the other? Humans are an ever-evolving species, so why can't our politics evolve accordingly to better our society and WORK TOGETHER for a change?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Black History Month Books: Teaching early about diversity

Teaching diversity appreciation to your child doesn't have to be avoided like the dreaded sex talk.  I have a few books that can help your child 5 and under get a basic understanding.

A lot of parents think they need to wait until a child is much older before they start talking about some of the differences among humans, whether they be cultural, religious, or ethnical. But what we don’t realize is that by waiting that long, chances are that the child has already learned a lot via peers and others.  The problem is that  this information is often filled with bias, prejudice, and ignorance.

Children will learn about stereotypes soon enough, even before they realize it.  I want to start the foundation of what my child knows before all that so that they can better discern between the truth and any stereotypes they may later learn.  He can find confidence in defending the truth and do his part in supporting inclusion.
Here are some books that I incorporate in the book collection that I read.  They serve as his introduction to the diverse history of the world, and the great people in it.

  1. My Daddy, by Martin Luther King III
    1. This book gives us a synopsis of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the dynamics of the relationship between he and his son.
  2. This Jazz Man, by Karen Ehrhardt
    1. I've mentioned before that my son loves music, and a lot of other toddlers or preschoolers are the same.  I love this book because it teaches him to appreciate creativity and diversity in music without the bore of a school lesson.
  3. Whoever You Are, by Mem Fox
    1. When I read this book, my son points to certain people that look like his friends at daycare, or countries that he's either visited or lived in. Since my husband is not a native-born American, my son has had the opportunity to be exposed to other cultures and languages at infancy.  I explain to him that there are people that share some of the same features or culture, and that we celebrate and appreciate both those similarities and differences.  This books helps me do that.

I think the importance is not to start explaining too much of the pains and injustices that have come with our country's history, but I want him to start becoming familiar with the faces and accomplishments of great people. I want him to know the good, bad, and the ugly of the past, but to ease into it without completely shielding him completely.  Right now, just understanding that there is no problem with having differences will help him to work well with others and appreciate them. Teaching and reinforcing concepts that your child can readily understand should be preferred, like sharing and being kind to others.  I read books that show how people of all backgrounds are making the world better each loving act at a time.  You can highlight the culture we are celebrating at the time (Black History or Hispanic Heritage months, for example) by showcasing the achievements of people of those backgrounds.  Later on this year, I'll share some other American history books I like to read with my son.