Post 10

I have learned a lot over the past few months in this class. I learned there are many different privileges in the world. You have white privilege, status, money, power, etc. all of these have advantages in the world. I used to think white privilege did not exist. I would get defensive if someone that wasn’t white would bring it up. I now know that it exists and I can use that privilege to help those that don’t have it. It is not something negative towards white people. I now know that because we actually discussed it in class. Most people avoid the discussions and that’s why there’s a lot of issues still.

I learned that I have it lucky here in the U.S. Learning about the refugees and all of the things that they have endured sounds tough. It would be so hard to be forced to leave your home and move to a strange place for an unknown amount of time. The average refugee stays about 15 years at a camp then finally have the opportunity to go home. The U.S. needs to be more open to helping refugees rather than being afraid of them.

What I’ve learned most about this class is being a genuine, open-minded person. There are so many differences out in the world and some of them are things we should embrace. Being able to embrace those differences and ideas can help lead to more positivity. I love learning about different cultures and it would be great to continue learning about them after school. We are all different but we need to work together to make the world go around.

Cultural Event

My cousin Zach recently married a girl named Brenda Nguyen. When I was invited to be one of the groomsman I knew that Brenda’s family was set in their culture. Her family is from Vietnam and they still practice all of their ceremonies. When my cousin was accepted into the family me and other groomsman were there to help. We went to a tea ceremony. This is when the family of the groom presents gifts to the family of the woman. Afterwards the man serves his future in laws some tea that is in front of them, he also serves his own parents. The bride does the same thing. Once this has taken place the groom gives a gift to the parents of the bride as well. Once all is accepted they get married. This all takes place in the home of the bride’s parents. When that part is over all of the extended family walks up to the bride and groom to give them gifts. Most of the time they give money because they know that the groom and bride want to use it for something specific. 

Brenda’s family is really big. After the tea ceremony there was a huge party later on that night. There were at least 100 people there and most of them were from Brenda’s family. The party was in Vietnamese which was fine with me. There was dancing, a ten course meal, and speeches. Everything was classy and elegant. While eating there was a small concert and then a speaker went up and introduced each family at each table and where they were traveling from. Brenda has family all over the place that came to visit. Some were from Utah, Canada, Georgia, Texas, California, and a few other places.

Bell Hooks

I went and saw Bell Hooks speak and it was very interesting. She is really funny and has some great insights. I like how she said she just complains about movies and how awful they are. It was interesting to see her thoughts on certain subjects. Someone asked her what she thought of the movie Get Out. She said it was really good until the black man killed the whole white family. When she said this I was surprised because they were extremely bad people. Bell said it brought out the animal in every black man, according to society. She also stated that Hillary Clinton is not a true feminist because her focus was on war and power when she was in the white house and running for the white house.

Ted Talk Refugees

Helping Refugees with Success

After working with refugees for the past couple months, I have become more interested in refugees not only in the United States but around the entire world. There are millions of refugees around the world and they need help in many ways. They need their countries to stop fighting, food, immunizations, and much more. I want to focus on education and Syrian refugees.

I watched a Ted Talk by Melissa Flemming called “Let’s help refugees thrive, not just survive.” The experiences that Melissa shares are sad, scary, and some are touching. Some of the questions she asks refugees when she meets them are: who bombed your house? Who killed your son? Did the rest of your family make it out alive?

The most revealing question of them all is: “What did you take with you when you fled from your home?” This question is important because it shows what people truly care about most in their life. I would grab something that helps me with memories I have had with my family and friends. For a teenage boy in Syria, he decided to grab his high school diploma. His answer as to why he grabbed that was “my life depended on it” (Flemming, 2014). This boy would dodge snipers to get to school and sometimes the classroom would shake because of bombs being dropped and other fighting. This is a great example of how important education is to some people in that small village. Out of all the things he could have grabbed, the first thing he took with him to Lebanon was his diploma.

Lebanon has more refugees than any other country standing at 1 million. They only have 4 million citizens in Lebanon. There isn’t a single village, town, or city that does not host refugees. If the U.S. were to host the same percentage of refugees as Lebanon, they would accept all of Germany fleeing here in a period of 3 years (Flemming, 2014).

Out of the many refugee children in Lebanon, only 20% are enrolled in school. School is the most important part of their life because it allows them to think about their future and forget the violent past. The majority of all refugees want to return back to their homes but they wait an average of 17 years in exile (Flemming, 2014).

What can we do to help refugee children have success while waiting in exile? An important answer to that is education and youth groups. Melissa Flemming shared an inspiring story about how education helped a young refugee man have success in the U.S. He was from Sudan, whole family killed in one day when he was just 7 years old. He was chased by wild animals and gangs for 7 months until he found a refugee camp. He was there for 7 years then came to the U.S. In the camp he was able to go to school so he had some good education. When he was in the U.S. he lived with a great foster family, went to school pursing his PHD in public health. He was able to use this degree and raise money for people to travel to his village and help with immunizations. (Flemming, 2014).

I feel like education is something that can help refugees thrive rather than just survive in the United States and all other refugee camps. Since the U.S. doesn’t host very many refugees and we, as well as many other countries, need to do something about the education for young refugees. If going to a university is a luxury to a refugee, we definitely need to help them when they are younger so it is not a luxury.

In Nigeria because of all the issues going on in other countries, there are a lot of refugees and Internally Displaced People (IDPs). Because of this there are a lot of different challenges and struggles in each community. Nigeria believes education for these people is extremely important. “Education is a vital tool for individual, community, and national development,” (Obashoro-John & Oni, 2017). The main reasons for Nigeria to help refugees and IDPs with education is to help them build up their communities in the future. Melissa Flemming said “not investing in refugees is a huge missed opportunity, refugees can help stop the violence cycle.” That is what Nigeria is doing by helping with education for refugees.

In the article “Sudanese refugee youth and educational success: The role of church and youth group in supporting cultural and academic adjustment and schooling achievement,” it talks a lot about how young refugee students need to be involved in after school activities because it will help with their academic performance.

Participating in diverse extracurricular activities increases students’ engagement with schooling, aspirations and participation (Wilkinson, Santoro, & Major, 2017). This is important because they are investing in refugees. Helping refugees have success is extremely important. When we invest in these great people we will help them prepare to rebuild their homes, villages, hospitals, etc. They can be the generation that helps their country develop and have more success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Flemming, M. (2014, October). Melissa Flemming: Let’s help refugees thrive, not just survive [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/melissa_fleming_let_s_help_refugees_thrive_not_just_survive

Obashoro-John, O.A. & Oni, G.J. (2017). Refugee Education: The State of Nigeria’s Preparedness. Universal Journal of Education Research, 5(6), 989-994.

Wilkinson, J., Santoro, N., & Major, J. (2017). Sudanese refugee youth and educational success: The role of church and youth group in supporting cultural and academic adjustment and schooling achievement. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 210. doi:10.1016/j.ijintrel.2017.04.003

Post 8 Interracial Relationship and Cocultural Presentation

I decided to interview my cousin who recently got married. His name is Zach and his wife’s name is Brenda. Zach is half white and half black. Brenda is 100% Vietnamese. They dated for over 4 years before they got married. For the most part they both told me that they didn’t have any problems with being a couple because both of them are considered minorities, especially in Utah. Zach said it was tough on his parents though. He learned from their relationship and is applying the differences to his relationship. Brenda said the only issue that arose from her family/friends was her dad wanted her to marry someone more involved and integrated in their Vietnamese culture. After getting to know Zach he did not care anymore because he respected Zach and saw the love he had for his daughter. The only issues Zach’s family had was his mother. She wanted him to find a Mormon girl but Zach hasn’t been part of the LDS faith for a long time.

None of Zach’s or Brenda’s friends had issues with accepting them as a couple. I never really thought of them as an interracial couple because he is my cousin and I’ve known Brenda for a long time now. At first I just noticed that she was Asian, then I found out she was Vietnamese and since then I never paid attention to the fact that they are different races.

I enjoyed the group that presented on Friday. It was cool to hear that Tyler was an international student in England. He was always referred to as the American rather than Tyler and a friend. Even when he went back to visit later on they still referred to him as the American. I feel like that happens here all the time. Many people that have mostly their race in a group if any other person joins the group that is different, they label him/her something different. An example would be the fat friend of a group. People will notice that he/she is fat and so they will refer to that person as the fat friend. One that I have seen before was when I hung out with some friends from a different high school. They were mostly white kids at the school and in their group of friends. They had one friend that was black and so everyone would call him their black friend rather than just friend. They didn’t use it in a negative way but that was just an example. That kid was probably used to it but I bet he would prefer not to be known as the black friend. 

 

 

 

Movie 2- The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

This movie takes place during World War 2 in Germany. A family moves near a concentration camp because the father is now in charge of the camp. Bruno, the 8 year old son of the commander becomes friends with a young Jewish boy that lives at the camp. He meets this boy by wandering off when he is lonely and unhappy. He sees the boy on the other side of the fence wearing uniform that was for the Jews at the camp. Bruno thought they looked like Pajamas.

Bruno has no idea what is going on at the concentration camp. He does not know that Jewish people are being killed at that camp. One day Bruno decides to go into the camp with the Jewish boy Shmuel. He helps Shmuel look for his parents because they get separated. They both enter this small building. Searching and searching, next thing you know they are killed by being burnt to death.

Bruno’s mother and father find out about this and are terrified of what happened. The mother wasn’t a fan of what her husband was doing. She didn’t want to move from Berlin and the killing was awful.

The movie is really sad but part of it seems like karma to me. The father was such an evil and bad person the whole time showing no mercy. Then his son is killed the way he killed many innocent people.

Intercultural Movie- Hotel Rwanda

Hotel Rwanda was an amazing movie. It was extremely sad but a great story during extremely difficult circumstances. It takes place in Rwanda, Africa. In Rwanda there are two tribes, Hutu and Tutsi. A large group of military men that belong to the Hutu start an uproar. With time they end up going on a killing spree against the minority group of Tutsi. They called it an “ethnic cleansing.” The Tutsi don’t have a military, the government in that area is most of the help they get.

The main character is a man named Paul, he is a Hutu married to a Tutsi and they have three children. He is not like the extreme military Hutu’s, he is peaceful and he treats Tutsis as if they were Hutus. With time the killings get worse and they get closer to his home. While working as a manager at a hotel he makes the decision to let everyone that is being effected by this genocide stay at the hotel as a place of refuge. This hotel has many people from the United States staying there and they are freaking out too. What stood out to me is when one of the Americans asks two African friends what tribes they are part of. One is Tutsi and the other is Hutu. He says “you look like you could be sisters.” No one can tell the difference just by looking at them.

Another crazy part is that all the Americans leave on a bus and are protected by military men but the others had to stay at the hotel. Paul and a lot of people there almost get killed. After a long time they finally get help and escape.

Post 7

My views have changed somewhat about privilege. It just depends on what kind of privilege you are talking about. The activity definitely made things more clear about money. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

When you think about our government pretty much every person that helps laws pass like senators and other political groups have a lot of money. Senators are usually pretty well off so they want to keep as much money as they can. A lot of rich people and organizations will help campaigns by donating millions of dollars to help because they want to keep making more money.

In class I noticed the people in the lowest group pretty much stayed there the whole time. No one really moved up and they couldn’t move down. I was in the highest group and I stayed there the whole time. Everyone else that was in the top group stayed there the entire time except for a few people. I almost dropped to the middle bracket but when we were able to make the rules, I was set in the highest bracket. The “rich” people made the rules and got away with what we wanted.

Post 6

Learning about privilege and racism this week was interesting. As I stated before when I first talked about white privilege with someone I tried to defend myself thinking that that person was calling me racist but that is not true. It is becoming more comfortable for me now.

I liked the activity about how to handle racism. When one of the students said she called out a guy at a concert about it I thought that was really cool of her. I also think just talking about it and dropping knowledge on someone is a good way to handle it. Racism will always be a problem and we need to actually start to talk about it even though it is a topic that is very uncomfortable for almost everyone. I have little conversations about it with friends and family. It is interesting to hear their insights and thoughts because they are different than mine.

Post 5- Privilege

There are a lot of different types of privilege. Privilege affects me in multiple ways both good and bad. The first thing about privilege that I want to talk about is white privilege. This has been a huge topic for the past few years and at first I felt like I was being attacked. When someone would say that I have white privilege I would automatically assume they were calling me racist or that I thought I was better than others with different skin color than me. As I have learned more about it it has nothing to do with me being racist. When you look at the facts I do have white privilege. I have learned that I can use my white privilege to help those that do not have it. An example is a story they I read about a year ago. This older black woman was grocery shopping with her white friend. They stood together in line even though the black woman was there first. Keep in mind that this woman had shopped there for years and years while the white woman only shops there once in a while. The cashier spoke to the black woman rudely and then said that the white woman was their first. The white woman then called out the cashier and said how her friend was their first and how the cashier was being rude to the black woman. The white woman used her privilege to help others realize what was happening to her. The black woman is the one that told the story and it helped me realize that I can do good things with my white privilege instead of negative things.

Patience was a really cool guy. I liked his stories and how he has traveled all over the world. One of the things that really stood out to me was how racist they were and still are. I know racism was bad here in the U.S. but South Africa was really bad. What stood out to me the most was when he told us a story about when he was teaching in Africa at a university. He was one of the few black professors there. The school wanted to bring on a special professor that was black and he was going to be paid a lot of money. A few of the white professors said he shouldn’t get paid that amount because of his skin color. I liked how Patience basically told them off knowing he would get fired. I respect him a lot for that.