Joe’s Cafe

I was able to discover Joe’s Cafe, which is an old fashioned southern style cuisine. Everything that I ate was really good including the grits that I was convinced into trying. They were so good though. They tasted like a true breakfast dessert. He also had some sort of lemonade that he wouldn’t disclose the ingredients of but it almost tasted like there was coconut milk in it. 

The experience itself was well worth it, Joe knows how to make everyone feel at home. He was referring to me as family from the moment we stepped through the door. It was actually his idea to take this picture. 

Service Learning hours

I spent the majority of my service hours with some of the refugee children from “Because He First Loved Us

.” We went to lagoon with these children whom I thought maybe wouldn’t speak English too well and would be hard to relate to. This was not the case at all, actually it was the exact opposite. These kids were as normal 

as they come. In fact, I would probable prefer to go to lagoon with these kids then with my own friends. They loved talking sports with us, especially about basketball. These boys were as normal as they come, just like most groups of boys they wanted to have their friends think they were tough so there was a reoccurring conversation about not being scared to ride the next ride we were heading to. At one point one of the boys shed a few tears on a ride that was little bit scarier than the others. After the ride I noticed his friends heckling him for crying so I pretended that I had also cried on the ride. Not only did they believe that I cried but it seemed to be one of the funniest things they had ever seen, a grown man crying on a rollercoaster. They even began chanting at one point “he cried, he cried, he cried.” The heckling was worth saving that young boys image, it was just a minor L that I had to take.

It seemed they would do anything for the snap. The second we pulled a phone out and started recording they would begin dancing, taking turns with their few seconds of camera time. It was interesting to see how some people in the lines around us would react. I could tell there were some that did not enjoy being around us and I’m not sure if it had to do with the color of skin but I can say that I haven’t ever been glared at like that before. Then there was the exact opposite reaction of people around us wanting to join in and trying to photo bomb us.

 

 

 

 

 

The kids were unbelievably well behaved and I know at that age that was not the case for me. Especially as the day went on it got colder and wetter by the minute but I never heard any complaints and they all seemed to stay really positive. My thoughts were that this was due to the privilege they were raised with that they were a lot more grateful that most kids their same age.

Lion

 

This is a movie about a young boy from India who gets separated from his family and is eventually adopted by a family in Australia.

Twenty five years after being separated he finally goes out searching for his family. His desire to find them is driven by the guilt of knowing the privilege he was raised with in Australia compared to the hardships his family were having to endure in India.

Post 10

There are a few things this term that I will take with me as I continue to interact with other cultures. One of which is always try to remove myself from cultural generalizations. It is so easy to have a bias or thoughts that are associated with certain cultures. By removing this from the way that I perceive people and different cultures will allow me to give each person a clean slate so that I will be able to see them as they really are. 

Privilege is also another point that was really pounded into my head throughout the term. I think my new found understanding of my own personal privilege and how that is the lens that I see the world through will help me to keep perspective. All people should be treated as equals but not all people are based on lots of different variables. This knowledge will help me to not judge others and treat them as an equal to me. 

Post 9

Popular media has such a tight grip on our nation it isn’t even funny. The fact that we are all aware of the “fake news” that is out there, but still give it the time of day, is a solid example of this. I know quite a few people that will see a post and immediately believe it to be factual without ever checking its sources. Many of us rely on social media as a primary source of news now days. There seems to be a new viral video, a new hashtag, or some new dance move created on a weekly basis. For the following week everybody on your feed will seem to post something about it. It also seems like our nation clings to every word that our president posts on social media whether they love it or hate it, it could easy be a conversation piece. 

Snapchat is a form of social media that I have seen take hold of people’s lives without them noticing. I have friends that live behind the filters that snapchat has to offer. They can’t go anywhere without documenting it on their snapchat story. I don’t see how it doesn’t take away from their experience in the moment but that is their call not mine. 

The guest speaker was quite interesting to me because I had no clue people still were out searching for buried treasure. But seriously I wasn’t aware that people like me and you could get into the gold mining business as easy as he did. I thought that was done away with years ago. Aside from that it was really cool to hear the differences in culture and how he had to adapt to working with tribal chiefs. His stories of adapting to a different culture were pretty eye opening especially since he was from Utah, it really made me put myself in his shoes and evaluate how well I would be able to adapt. 

TEDtalk Paper

When searching for a topic that I wanted to learn more about for this assignment I was browsing through the different TEDTalk’s and not much was really calling my name. I decided to listen to a couple different talks and David Miliband’s hit me to the core. His TEDTalk was titled The Refugee Crisis is a Test of our Character. I’m not sure his thoughts would have affected me so much if I hadn’t had the experience of working with some of the refugees with Because He First Loved Us. After attending Lagoon with these young refugee children, I had asked myself the question “why don’t I do more to help refugee’s” and “why don’t more people help refugees.” These questions have stuck with me ever since that day. I had such an enjoyable experience with these children and it was beyond rewarding. So why is it so difficult to make the time to do it again. David’s thoughts combined with some of the research I have found helped shed some light on the matter for me and I aim to share some of what I learned in my following thoughts.

            David Miliband is President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), where he oversees the agency’s humanitarian relief operations in more than 40 war-affected countries and its refugee resettlement and assistance programs in 28 United States cities. In David’s TEDtalk he focuses on how the decision to help refugees is a moral decision and a test of our character. As a descendant of refugee’s, like a lot of us here in America, David has a passion for assisting refugees. He does his best to relate to each one of us by putting into perspective what we as humans have a responsibility to do to help refugees. He states “Ignorance isn’t a choice because we can see what is happening all over the world from our phones.” There are many of us in the world who, like me, that just choose to look the other way when It comes to assisting refugees. With excuses such as “I’m too busy, too poor, or don’t know how to help,” David no longer lets us off the hook as he gives us each examples of how we can help. In his words he says “If you are an employer higher refugees, if you are persuaded by arguments take on the myths when family or friends repeat them, if you’ve got money donate it to charities, if you are a citizen vote for politicians who will put into practice the actions that have been spoken about in this talk.” Essentially the message that he is trying to send in that statement is that no matter what our calling in life is, we can find ways to help refugees in our own individual capacities. No matter what “hat” we wear in society, if we look for opportunities to serve instead of hiding behind complacency, we will find those opportunities we are seeking.

            The first research article I was able to find that assisted in my understanding of this topic was “Justice, Morality, and the Dehumanization of Refugees” by Victoria M. Esses, Scott Veenvliet, Gordon Hodson, and Ljiljana Mihic. This article really helped put into perspective the reason why a good amount of people don’t assist refugees. According to their findings, this article explains how dehumanization is a big reason why people don’t act and help as much as they should with refugees. They conducted a few surveys along with other studies that asked questions such as: “how do you think refugees raise their children?” and “how do you think refugees came to this country?” Through these studies and questions they found that we as people tend to dehumanize refugees.

            In my second research article, “A Human Rights Based Approach to Refugees: A Look at the Syrian Refugee Crisis and the Responses from Germany and The United States,” it touches on some of the moral approaches that we tend to take when deciding whether to assist refugees. In this study it breaks down our moral responsibilities into three categories the “Good Samaritan,” the duty to protect, and the duty of political responsibility. The “Good Samaritan” reasoning says that if a state’s own well-being could be compromised in helping non-citizens, such as through national security concerns or through economic burdens, then it is reasonable for states to evade helping non-citizens. The duty to protect says “how many people must die, how many refugees must flee, how many years must people suffer, before the world takes notice?” The duty of political responsibility basically says that if we had a hand in causing the refugees to flee by war or any other means toward their country then we have the obligation to help fix what we caused. In each of these “responsibilities” toward refugees there is a flaw if you ask me, which is why I decided to side with David Miliband.  

I stand with David’s statements from his TEDtalk that we need to take a moral approach to assisting refugee’s. In it he refers to the story of his Jewish ancestors and how they were saved by a German man during the Nazi times. He later was able to meet the man that saved his family by taking them in. He was able to ask him why he took them in and the man’s response was a simple shrug of the shoulders and the statement, “one must.” David used this statement to drive the point home that this was innate in him, it was a natural response to refugees. He went on to say that we need to make it so that our innate actions toward refugees is to help and to be considerate. It shouldn’t be a question of “if” we can help but “how” can we help.

 

References

 Miliband, D. (n.d.). The refugee crisis is a test of our character. Retrieved November 12, 2017, from https://www.ted.com/talks/david_miliband_the_refugee_crisis_is_a_test_of_our_character

 

 Esses, V. M., Veenvliet, S., Hodson, G., & Mihic, L. (2008). Justice, Morality, and the Dehumanization of Refugees. Social Justice Research, 21(1), 4-25. doi:10.1007/s11211-007-0058-4

 

 Ostrand, N. (2015). The Syrian Refugee Crisis: A Comparison of Responses by Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Journal on Migration and Human Security, 3(3), 255-279. doi:10.14240/jmhs.v3i3.51

 

Post #8

Todays class consisted of the LGBTQ group from campus coming to speak to us. It was really interesting hearing each of the presenters from the panel tell us about their coming out story. Each was so different since they had such different backgrounds. Some of them hadn’t even fully come out yet since their parents weren’t quite accepting of it. I was surprised to learn that there were other sexual orientations outside of Lesbian Gay and  Bisexual. It was interesting to hear parker speak about being Pansexual where he is attracted to peoples personalities and not genders. He also  talked about how he is demisexual, which is where he only gains a sexual attraction to someone after he gains an emotional relationship first. 

The whole discussion seemed very open to interpretation depending on who you spoke to. There were many instances that when we as a class would ask a question looking for a specific answer, each presenter would have their own different opinion on the matter. For example, each person on the panel had different words that they were not ok with hearing (like gay, queer, or faget) but others on the panel preferred to be referred to with these titles. Overall I came away a little confused about a lot of it but my eyes were opened to the ambiguity of genders and sexual orientation that people prefer. 

Post #7

My views on privilege have changed quite a bit since we have started talking about it in class. At first I thought privilege was what those who were down on their luck or had the “poor me” mentality would use as a cop out. My views have completely changed to the opposite view that those who have privilege are the ones’ who don’t really believe that privilege exists. 

The activity we did on Monday really solidified some of my beliefs about privilege. It was interesting to hear what some of the people who ended up with the least amount of coins and how they continued to get poorer as we kept getting more coins. Some of the people from this lower bracket said they felt like there was no reason to try anymore since the rich group had all of the gold coins and there wasn’t any way for them to get much richer. In the activity the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. Even when the rich had the option to make rules that would help everyone they made rules to help just themselves. Kind of like in our society how the rich make rules/laws with the power that they have and they continue to be rich and the poor remain poor as well. 

 

After spending a few weeks talking about privilege, have your ideas changed from the beginning of the discussion and why or why not? Write something specific about the activity we had on Monday. Tag your post to colvincomm319g, copy the URL and paste it here to canvas to be graded.

Post #6

This week we continued to focus on privilege and I have to admit by this point privilege has been on my mind a lot. It has been nice to be able to keep my perspective through out the week since we have been focusing on privilege for a while now.

In class we had a group do an activity that required us to take a step back or step forward based on questions about our personal privilege. It was interesting to me to see how far behind my other classmates I was. I have always known that I was raised in the middle class but seeing the majority of the class a considerable distance ahead of me was pretty eye opening. I’m not sure embarrassed is the right word but I did feel a little left out. After some thought it made me think of how I view people that might in a lower class than me and that I shouldn’t treat anybody differently based on their socioeconomic class. I am really enjoying the added perspective this class is bringing to my life. 

Post 5

Privilege was never something that really crossed my mind since it was typically in my favor. I am a middle class white male so much of my life I have been privileged. There have been a few times in my life where my religion or income did limit me. In those times where my privilege affected me negatively is when I noticed its impact on lives. This class has helped to open my eyes on a broader scale to see how privilege has affected all those around me. Everyone’s privilege varies and we as people should do our best to be as inclusive as possible since we are all equals as humans at the end of the day. 

What I took away from the guest speaker was that even in Africa white people are privileged. He mentioned that white people make up like 12% of the population but still use the majority of the resources. When I heard this I could not believe that white people were even more privileged than the people that were native to that land. It was really an eye opening experience learning some of the things that he shared with us. I have only been able to see this world through my eyes and I haven’t ever left this country so it was very interesting to me to be able to see the world through his eyes for a moment.