Tag Archives: information

Do African-Americans Hate Themselves?

Samuel Feineh
News Editor

feinehs5191@student.sanjuan.edu

My Editorial in the last print issue titled “Presidential Burdens” has come under fire from some vocal critics. In essence, I spoke about how unfair it was for America to place such a great burden on President Obama’s shoulders to radically change the justice system to alleviate some racial tension in the political justice system. I argued that time is his greatest ally, and significant change cannot be brought about in an 8 year term; in comparison, the Civil Rights’ movement was a product of over 200 hundred years of anguish.

One critic sent me the following message: “You think America is a place an African man should be? The same people that thought your ancestors were 3/5th of a person are still in control, its their grandkids now. Nothing is going to change for black people until Africa changes… We need to focus of the exploitation of our own land. The thing is African-Americans hate their homeland and if you hate Africa you hate yourself. They need to find out the history of Africa.”

After some consideration, I sent him the following message:

“First of all, if you’re going to reference the Constitutional Convention as evidence, you must include historical context. The Founding Fathers convened for the sole purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation (which soon became a complete revamp). They were not there to debate the merits of slavery; only to ENSURE that the South didn’t overpower the North for taxation and legislative purposes after the Connecticut Compromise was passed creating the bicameral government we have today. Slavery was not debated thoroughly for its merits and Civil Rights infringements/violations until Lincoln’s presidency, nearly 100 years after the 3/5th Compromise was passed. You made a hasty generalization when using the 3/5 Compromise as “evidence.”

Do you mean that white society is exploiting America, which I assume you’re calling “your land?” You bounce between ideas that don’t follow any type of logical order. I’d argue that many African-Americans don’t HATE their homeland; rather, many are unaware or choose to be ignorant of their origins. Inspiring African-American youth to seek their cultural heritage isn’t an easy task, but I’m sure they don’t hate themselves for being unaware of their history. Once again, you are making another hasty generalization through an argument from ignorance because your claim that African-Americans hate themselves is naive and extremely difficult to prove.

The only point I agree with you on is many African-Americans (for one reason or another) are deprived of knowing their intricate cultural roots. I’m sure many would respect their origins, however a place in America is not reliant on respect for your origins. We have always been a country of immigrants, and over time have built a system of rights and privileges (albeit faulty and contradictory at times) praising the democratic process. This (justice) system needs a lot more work, but if it didn’t require work, we’d live in a utopia. That sir, is not quite possible in today’s American democracy.”

Fortunately, this critic brings to light the diverse perspectives and complexities of racial relations within the United States. While there is no way to prove that increased knowledge of black heritage within the African-American community would decrease crime rates or increase mutual respect for one another, one cannot deny the powerful history African-Americans have endured. We owe it to society to learn from our past and progress into the promise land.

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Storm In New England

Max Arbogast
Staff writer
arbogastm2654@student.sanjuan.edu

Through out the history of the world there have been many devastating acts of nature and catastrophic storms.  The next of which will hit the United States starting on January 26th.  New England alone is projected to receive two to three feet of snow over the course of the storm.  The timeline of this blizzard is projected as so; Monday will bring light snow of 2-3 inches and not much more.  Later that night the storm will reach the warm ocean and the change in air pressure will cause a snow band to form and the Blizzard will form over New England.  The following day, snowfall will increase to 3 inches per hour and wind speeds are projected to reach anywhere from 50 to 70 miles per hour.  At this point power surges will be common and freeways will be crippled with stuck cars.  The historic blizzard will still be going strong as it continues to Nova Scotia, but the snow will die out around Philadelphia and New York.  The next day will be met will strong winds and a sub-zero wind chill from the still raging storm, and may be a dangerous day for those with no power.  In preparation for the storm, travel bans have already taken place in the North Atlantic and New England.  Five thousand flights have already been canceled and major airlines warned that many flights most likely won’t be leaving. Anyone near or around this area should be making plans and preparations to weather this storm.

Are You Ignorant?

Sam Feineh
News Editor
feinehs5191@student.sanjuan.edu

What are you doing to stay informed?

So many of us high school teenagers often stay within our closed off world centering on school, extracurriculars, and family. Sometimes, the overwhelming rush of all these events in our lives makes us forget that there is an entire world around us, with critical events shaping public policy every single day.

For instance, how many of you know significant details of the latest terrorist attack in France? Much of what we hear is condensed in small tidbits of information through Twitter stories, CNN headlines, and other (primarily American) news outlets.

Is this truly the best way to acquire news?

It is important to know that when absorbing current events in the world, we take in multiple sources from a cross-cultural perspective prior to forming a definitive stance on sociopolitical or geopolitical issues.

The most prominent news outlets in America, building around ABC World News, Fox News, MSNBC, NBC, and CNN each have its own inherent bias toward reporting the news. It’s well-known that Fox News leans heavily to the right side of the political spectrum, often interviewing many Republican strategists to shape their news stories. To the contrary, NBC news tends to be more liberal in its delivery of news.

The first step to gain a global perspective on news is to branch out to world news outlets. Sources such as Al Jazeera, BBC, and Sky News report on global issues much more than American outlets. Al Jazeera has stations in Qatar, Singapore, and more in an effort to report the stories that nobody covers.

Al Jazeera reports a plethora of short documentaries that focus on world issues of each type: from the spread of Trachoma in Ethiopian villages, to China’s economic boom.

BBC and Sky News are just as prominent, and deliver an outstanding quality and quantity of news, allowing citizens to become more informed.

Given the substantial opportunities to absorb and reflect on world news, the responsibility lies on you to seek out the free flow of information.

“What if I’m busy? I don’t have any time. I’d rather talk to my girl/boyfriend. I don’t care. It doesn’t affect me.”

These common excuses to be uniformed represents a choice to be ignorant. Ignorance in this situation is certainly not bliss.

Start out by just Googling “News” during those spare minutes in class when your teacher is babbling on about this and that. Then try watching the evening news programs at 6 PM on PBS on the weekdays, and branching out to more news outlets. You’ll be surprised by what you can learn in just a few minutes.

To be, or not to be ignorant. That is the question.