Weekly Journal Update 10/19

Thursday October 12, 2017. 8:10–9:30am. In class, we discussed the use of art and how it correlates when politics are put into the equation. We questioned if political art is free speech or just plain disrespectful. I really enjoyed this module because it covered art and what creatives actually think about what is going on today. It was interesting and inspiring to hear creatives express themselves and create their truth unapologetically. We also discussed the three Greek dramas. It was fun to analyze each drama as a class because I did not have much knowledge of it before. Taking a look into 5th century BCE was very eye opening, and I enjoyed learning about it a lot. We also discussed ’ Aeschylus’ Suppliants, and analyzed the part where the chorus begged Pelasgus to save them and let them in his city. We transformed this into modern terms and asked the question, “Would you let someone into your own area if they begged like this ?” All of the class said no, but we then discussed how America treats refugees and how people feel threatened by them.

Sunday, October 15, 2017. 2–4pm. Tuesday, October 18, 2017 8:10–9:30am. I started reading the new module, Our Only Goal Will Be The Western Shore. This module was very interesting to me because it touched on the topic of immigration and how the US treats immigrants. I really liked how this week’s module touched on the right wing rhetoric and how they treat citizens. During class I really enjoyed our discussion about the module. We discussed the point behind leadership exercise one is to take a look at situations from a different view, form of empathy, perspective, and self awareness. These things go into the idea of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence truly understands leadership. During our discussion on immigration, it reminded me of the time in high school we watched a show called “30 Days” on FX. It basically gave people who had different opinions on social situations thirty days to live in the other person’s shoes. On this episode, a man who worked for border portal stayed with illegal immigrants for a month and learned about their lifestyle. It was a very touching episode but it caused a divide between my classmates and I. Many people felt that the illegal immigrant family did not have a right to be in this country because they were not born in the US, while other classmates disagreed and it caused a great divide in the classroom that was not quite resolved. Here are my exercises for leadership one :

  1. Do you have any personal experience working with immigrants or as an immigrant that would lend credibility to any position you have on immigration? Explain. If you do not have this experience, what would your plan be for establishing your credibility? I feel like an experience I have had with immigrants is the story I told in my last journal. Dr. Sandridge reminded me in class that it was a good example for this question. My plan for establishing credibility would be creating a warm, welcoming environment and putting together organizations to help and lead them. I would also try to put a better community together for everyone and bring down the stereotype and bashing of immigrants.
  2. If voters pressed you to identify three criteria for determining whether to admit immigrants into the community, what would your three criteria be? If voters asked you whether you agree with President Trump’s most recent immigration criteria for “applicants who can speak English, financially support themselves and their families, and demonstrate skills that can contribute to the US economy,” what would your response be? I don’t think Trump’s criteria is acceptable because it expects the worst out of someone. I feel like portrays immigrants negatively. If I made my own criteria, I would make one for people that come from war-struck countries, a dictatorship, or come from terrible living conditions. On regards to being a more compassionate or stern leader when it comes to immigrants I would try to be both so I won’t be taken advantage of. Most people fear that immigrants are terrorist and shun them when America is supposed to do the opposite.

This exercise question made me think of the TV show “What Would You Do?”. What Would You Do focuses on humans and how they react to social situations and if they would speak up if they feel something is wrong. WWYD travels across the country making up different scenarios with the help of paid actors to see if people will help others. One scenario regarded immigrants and how someone harassed them for not being born in America or that they did not belong in this country. Many people spoke up; but the show likes to switch things around and change races. In many scenarios, people are mostly willing to help white people instead of people of color.

  1. In the passages below identify all narratives of origins can you find. In what ways do these origin stories define group (civic) identity? How inclusive / exclusive are they? How are they assessed in each passage and to what effect? Throughout each narrative they discuss each group and how their land is important to them and the soil they each came from. The are somewhat inclusive because in “) Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War 1.2–1.3, c. 410 BCE (translation by C.F. Smith)” they describe certain groups of comparing one’s quality to another. “ For the greater power that accrued to some communities on account of the fertility of their land occasioned internal quarrels whereby they were ruined, and at the same time these were more exposed to plots from outside tribes. Attica, at any rate, was free from internal quarrels from the earliest times by reason of the thinness of its soil, and therefore was inhabited by the same people always. And here is an excellent illustration of the truth of my statement that it was owing to these migrations that the other parts of Hellas did not increase in the same way as Attica; for the most influential men of the other parts of Hellas, when they were driven out of their own countries by war or sedition, resorted to Athens as being a firmly settled community, and, becoming citizens, from the very earliest times made the city still greater in the number of its inhabitants; so that Attica proved too small to hold them, and therefore the Athenians eventually sent out colonies even to Ionia.”
  2. Can you think of some origin stories that shape your own national identity? Do these narratives have anything in common with the ancient ones in the way(s) they draw the line between who “belongs” and who does not? I told this story in our class discussion, but an origin story that I have is about my dad’s side came to be. In the 1930’s my great grandparents, Daddy George and Mama Mary, built a house in Bryan, TX and had five kids, one of the kids was my grandfather, Curtis Newton. My grandpa was very wealthy man and he had a lout of land which encouraged others to tell my grandmother to marry him. At age 21, my grandpa married my grandmother when she was 15, and they had seven kids, one of the children being my father. Years later,we had reunions at the house my great grandparents built in remembrance to honor them. My grandpa also gave my cousins and I land as well, including animals from his land that he tends to. Tragedy hit when the house burned down but my family still made it our mission to honor the legacy of my great grandparents at different locations within the family. I feel like my narrative is in common with those in the module because it focuses on land and remembrance. The only thing I do not find similar is the inclusiveness in the stories.

Leadership exercise two :

  1. What do immigrants contribute to a community? Should their inclusion in the community be based solely on whether the community profits from them? If not, what should it be based on? When is it reasonable to fear immigrants? What can citizens do to determine whether their fear of immigrants is valid? What gives rise to tensions between immigrants and citizens? In what ways do citizens tend to dehumanize immigrants? Immigrants contribute to a community by thriving a working just like anyone else. I feel like their inclusion in the community should not be based on whether the community profits on immigrants. I feel like it is reasonable to harm immigrants when they want to do harmful activities, but I feel like ignorance towards immigrants is unacceptable. Citizens can determine their fear of immigrants being valid when they witness actions of someone being harmful to the community. Ignorance gives rise to tensions and citizens. Citizens dehumanize immigrants by saying rude things like they were not born in America, calling them lazy, and saying that the do not belong in this country. The dehumanization of immigrants causes a great divide in America
  2. What is your understanding of the word “status” as it applies to a member of a community? Based on passages (a)-(d) below, what was the status of non-Athenian residents in classical Athens? What did they contribute to the city-state of Athens financially, intellectually, culturally, militarily, or otherwise? How does gender inform the experiences of male and female immigrants in these passages? The word “status” in a community means to me that it is a level at which people live like middle, lower, and upper class. The status of the non Athenian residents were not treated and the people profit off of them. “ For in them we have one of the very best sources of revenue, in my opinion, inasmuch as they are self-supporting and, so far from receiving payment for the many services they render to states, they contribute by paying a special tax. I think that we should study their interests sufficiently, if we relieved them of the duties that seem to impose a certain measure of disability on the resident alien without conferring any benefit on the state, and also of the obligation to serve in the infantry along with the citizens.”
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