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Is America Sleep Walking Through Its Political Issues?

Is America Sleep Walking Through Its Political Issues?

A patient of mine recently experienced an unusual problem. Apparently, she got out of bed in the middle of the night, walked outside into her garage and entered her sports car. She was changing her car clock when her partner, who was in a panic, located her in the car. My patient was awakened by her partner and was confused and bewildered as they left the garage to resume their evening’s sleep.

Sleep walking is not an unusual pattern. For many, it is an infrequent occurrence, but for others it is a lifelong experience. Recently, I have been wondering about the manner in which many of our citizens are “sleep walking” through the impact of our political landscape. As a society, we appear to be distracted and asleep at the wheel. It seems as if there is a chronic pathology among of our people characterized by naivety, indifference, and a lack of awareness to political and cultural issues.

I recall Jay Leno canvassing the streets of Los Angeles trying to find one American who could tell him how many Supreme Court justices serve on our highest bench and to identify one of their names. The responses were pathetic and called attention to the lack of political awareness of our citizenry. Recently, as my wife and I boarded a plane to return to Arizona, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was sitting in the third row of the plane. I was not aware of one on-coming passenger who seemed to recognize her or acknowledge her presence. When we deplaned and headed for the luggage area, while other passengers appeared to be oblivious to the relevance of the situation, I proceeded to introduce myself and carry on a brief conversation with her. As one of my 15 year old patients once said, “Why should I care about politics, I can’t change anything anyway.” Nevertheless, it is my belief that feeling powerless is never an excuse for sleeping through the political process.

Although I certainly respect and support our current troops deployed in Iraq and other locations, there is something quite disturbing about the false sense of patriotism displayed by Americans. For example, I believe many of us have trivialized the concept of war through the simplistic use of bumper stickers, ribbons and other insignias signifying troop support. What do these symbols really mean for most Americans? Are they true signs of patriotism by those who fully understand the impact and implications of our current war in Iraq? My brother, who was a Lieutenant and company commander in Viet Nam cringes at the naivety and lack of awareness that many Americans possess about the nature of terrorism, combat and military missions. Maybe if the military adopted a conscription policy, some Americans might rethink their form of patriotism? Maybe if they knew their own children would be subject to going off to Baghdad, they would reconsider the way they demonstrate their loyalty to our military efforts. You might recall what happened when the President tried to make nice with Congressman Jim Webb over the involvement of Mr. Webb’s son in the Iraq war. Congressman Webb bluntly told the President to mind his own business.

Americans tend to believe that if they project an image of patriotism, they are exempt from a deeper understanding of the implications of the war in Iraq. How many of our people are aware of how our wounded soldiers are being treated at Building #18 in Walter Reed Hospital? Do we understand that the hospital is under constant review for improper patient treatment and deplorable conditions? Are we aware that inpatient soldiers have complained about the unsanitary conditions at the hospital including rodents infesting the environment? How many in the Bush administration or Congress are aware of the conditions our soldiers are subjected to and do they care? Would any of us send our loved ones to heal in an environment like that? Is this how we support our troops? Shouldn’t we all be concerned about this issue? Instead we sleep walk through the military and political debate over the mission and purposes of the Iraq war. We believe that the political voices in Washington D.C. are more competent and convincing than our own. We take the easy way out from committing ourselves to being patriotic in the truest since of the word. We must walk the walk through political action, not words.

Will we sleep walk though the debate on global warming as our oil companies try to pay off researchers so they will reinterpret their findings to soften the implications of global warming? We minimize the problem by either ignoring it or by pretending to care by talking about minutiae such as using HOV lanes and not burning wood in our fireplaces as means of eradicating the problem of pollution. Is Al Gore’s documentary, Inconvenient Truth, really that inconvenient that we are willing to deny its truth? Our war in Iraq will continue to kill and maim many, but global warming has the potential to kill us all. Will we sleep walk through this problem by displaying our symbolic bumper stickers or will we attack the problem with action? It will not be the terrorists who do us in, for the enemy is at home.

Americans can no longer afford to sleep walk through the critical political issues that we face globally. Our indifference, lack of awareness, denial, shallowness, and lack of motivation will only serve to escalate the dangers that we confront. It will not be “the axis of evil” that consumes us but our own ignorance and laziness.

James P. Krehbiel, Ed.S., LPC is an author, freelance writer, and nationally certified cognitive-behavioral therapist practicing in Scottsdale, Arizona. His personal growth book, Stepping Out of the Bubble is available at www.amazon.com. James can be reached at www.krehbielcounseling.com.

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Production of Sub–immersion—sub-internationalization Identity Through African American Studies

Production of Sub–immersion—sub-internationalization Identity Through African American Studies

Abstract

” race” is a misleading word since there is no” race “that is composed of biologically pure individuals because of the human migration and the interracial births. Also different ethnicities don `t have pure culture because people with different ethnicities shared and share cultural heritage. And although these two (race and ethnicity) are different since one is considered biological and the other is considered cultural but the two sometimes go hand in hand like when we face to” identity “and “racism” .

This belief of racism that one racial category is superior or inferior to another , is a stereotype. Stereotypes are n` t only negative but also positive and they are n `t only toward out-groups but also toward in-group. Also the feedbacks of one in-group or minorities to the others` stereotypes sometimes can cause to strengthen and aggravate stereotypes.

According to this approach, In this article I try to explain that although one of the major aim of establishing African American studies is to challenge racism and racial discrimination , but as its courses and syllabus show, they (scholars) have accepted stereotypes of out –group about themselves and they believe in “blackness” as a “race” because they have overly separated their culture from American culture and ignored acculturation between African American culture and American culture .

Thus this ignoring is a feedback to out-group stereotypes and it itself is an in-group stereotype which prevent African Americans to make a internationalization-commitment identity but a sub-immersion— sub-internationalization identity.

Black Racial Identity

“They are all like that”, it is a common term when we tend to classify people who are n `t in our in -group. ( out-group homogeneity theory).

But why and how do we classify people? ( I will examine this issue in another essay)

And most important than this question is that who are “we” that tend to separate “we” from “others”?

As I will examine this issue in this essay in the case of African American studies:

First African Americans accept themselves as “we” , so they believe in black racial identity

Second although one of the aim of African American studies is to challenge racial discrimination and racism , but as courses show ,it represents the racial view of African Americans ( although scholars)

Third African American studies strengthen the racial view and blackness as a race.

As Cross( Bobo,2004) described , black racial identity development has five stages :

1- Preencounter : African American has absorbed many of the beliefs and values of dominant white culture – white is right , black is wrong

2- encounter: [ ]events forces the individual to acknowledge the impact of racism in one` s life.

3- Immersion: everything of value in life must be black or relevant to blackness, avoiding of symbols of whiteness

4- Internationalization: establishing meaningful relationship with white who acknowledge a positive sense of racial identity

5- Internationalization-Commitment: translating personal sense of blackness into a general sense of commitment

But African American studies seems to recede partly to third stage- immersion stage – that I claim it strengthens a new kind of identity which I call it ” sub- immersion –sub- internationalization”.

Concept Of Stereotype

According to stereotypes theory when we change the stereotypes, we do in one of three ways:

1- book keeping model: adjusting the stereotypes to adapt to the new information

2- conversion model: throwing away the old stereotype and start again

3- subtyping model: creating a new stereotype that is a sub- classification of the existing stereotype

but I `d like to add another way of changing the stereotypes regarding to given new kind of African American identity ; sub immersion- sub internationalization:

4- addition model : keeping old stereotype ,adding new information

We not only create stereotypes about others but about ourselves. As it is evident in the case of African American Studies , they keep the sense of blackness and add internationalization ,but not blackness nor internationalization change each other .

I examine my hypothesis in four universities and college: Boston University,Yale University ,University of Visconssin–Madison and Bates College.(although their courses are n `t the same but they are very similar)

At first the courses seem to be neutral :

AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY FROM THE BEGINNINGS TO EMANCIPATION,

AFRICAN SLAVERY IN THE AMERICAS,

THE CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION ERA, 1845 – 1877,

THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE,

AFRICAN AMERICAN POLITICS,

FREEDOM AND IDENTITY IN BLACK CULTURES,

MEMORY/IDENTITY IN THE BLACK U.S,

MICROCOSM OF BLACK CREATIVITY,

CULTURAL POLITICS

GENDER,RACE,AND SCIENCE

AFRICAN AMERICAN CINEMA,

MINORITY IN HOLLYWOOD FILM,

AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE,

AFRICAN AMERICAN POPULAR MUSIC,

JAZZ IN TRANSITION, 1960 – 1980,

JAZZ AND FILM,

TWENTIETH-CENTURY AFRICAN AMERICAN POETRY,

THE AFRICAN AMERICAN NOVEL

BLACK WOMAN IN MUSIC,

TWENTIETH-CENTURY AMERICAN DANCE .

CARIBBEAN LIVES: PSYCHO-SOCIAL ASPECTS,

FIELD METHODS IN CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY,

THEORY AND METHOD IN AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES

…

…

…

But let to examine the description of some courses:

White redemption: cinema and the co-optation of African American history:

Since its origins in the early twentieth century, film has debated how to represent black suffering,.this course examines one aspect of that debate: the persistent themes of white goodness ,innocence , and blamelessness in films that are allegedly about black history and culture .historical and cultural topics examined in film include the enslavement of Africans , reconstruction , and the civil rights movement .particular attention is given to films in the Interracial male- buddy genre.

RACE AND MEDICINE IN AMERICA:

An examination of the history of race and medicine in the United States, primarily but not exclusively focused on African Americans’ encounters with the health care system. Topics include slavery and health; doctors, immigrants, and epidemics; the Tuskegee Syphilis Study and the use of minorities as research subjects; and race and genetic disease.

As we see ” AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES” ignores interaction between African American culture and American culture.

Interaction Models & Crosscultural Models

If we link categories of black racial identity development to interaction models and crosscultural models( Nishida,1999) and then evaluate and judge about African Ameriacn Studies according to this ,will find out a new fact:

1- Genocide model , segregation model, adaptaion model and assimilation model

with preencounter identity

2- resistance with encounter and immersion identity

3- acculturation model and pluralism model with internationalization and inter

nationalization –commitment identity

Now we will find out that African American Studies has ignored dealing with cultural interactions and acculturation in this discipline and its courses . There is no courses about multiculturalism , interactions between African culture and American culture ,and about effects of American culture on African culture.

So identity in this discipline instead of going to internationalization –commitment identity stage, reverts and recedes to immersion stage and reproducing resistance interactions .

Thus this discipline produces a new kind of identity which I called it “sub immersion –sub internationalization” identity .

Conclusion :

As explained ,one of the most important aim of establishing African American Studies had been going ahead to the stage of internationalization-commitment identity through pluralism (interaction model) and regarding to acculturation (crosscultural model), but because of a misleading change of out-group `stereotypes ,it causes to recede partly to the immersion identity stage.

According to a new type of changing stereotype which I called it “addition model’ ,African Americans (scholars) kept the old sense of blackness (as a race) and add internationalization to it.

This caused a new but monstrous type of identity which is not an immersion identity nor an internationalization-commitment identity ; but sub-immersion—sub-internationalization identity.

So this discipline instead of developing internationalization – commitment identity , strengthens the racial view and blackness as a race .

But here there is one important question:

Since this process occurs in academy ,what is its influence in society ?Its answer can be explained in another essay.

Notes:

1- Four model of interaction among racial and ethnic categories;

Pluralism: Pluralism is a state in which racial and ethnic minorities are

distinct but have social parity. Pluralism is the goal of our society’s recent

trend toward multiculturalism

Assimilation : Assimilation is the process by which minorities gradually

adopt patterns of the dominant culture.

Segregation : Segregation refers to the physical and social separation of

categories of people. Until the early 1960’s, the Jim Crow laws formally

segregated hotels, restaurants, parks, buses and even drinking fountains

Genocide… The most brutal form of racism is the genocide which is the

systematic annihilation of one category of people by another

2- crosscultural models:

Adaptation: process of change over time that take place within individuals

who have completed their primary socialization process in one culture and

then come into continuous

assimulation: it is uni- directional process toward the host culture and

requires value changes

acculturation:it is a bi-directional process and doesn `t require changes in

values.

References

1-Bobo,J.Hudley,C.Michel,C,2004,THE BLACK STUDIES READER,NewYork,Routledge,pp.397-400.

2-Nishida,H,1999,A Cognition Approach to Intercultural Communaication Based on Schema Theory,Int.J.Intercultural Rel,Vol.23,No.5,p 762

http://www.bates.edu/AAS-courses.xml

http://www.bu.edu/bulletins/und/item13d3.html

http://changingminds.org/explanations/theories/stereotypes.htm

http://changingminds.org/explanations/theories/out-group_homogeneity.htm

http://polyglot.lss.wisc.edu/aas/courses/index.htm

http://www.yale.edu/afamstudies/courselisting.html

Mitra Naeimi

Course: Ethnology of America

MA student of North American Studies

Tehran University

Get Minute by Minute Updates through Various Satellite TV News Channels

Get Minute by Minute Updates through Various Satellite TV News Channels

Earlier people felt that television was nothing more than entertainment media showing colorful shows and programs. It was devoid of any informative or educative content. This is typical with cable TV subscription. Viewers do get entertained but channels are limited and most of the shows are repetitive with nothing fruitful to learn. The concept of television viewing underwent a sea-change with the coming of Satellite TV. With innumerable digital quality channels in hand, the viewers have so many options. These channels not only entertain you but impart education and information as well. The various news channels provide you with updated news 24/7 about all the major news worldwide.

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News on Mishaps and Accidents:

Every now and then major accidents take place pertaining to plane crash, suicide bomb attacks, collision between trains, mine explosion and many more. You will get a clear picture and reasons as to why and how these major accidents take place. The fearless newspaper reporters will take you to the exact places where these mishaps have taken place. You can come to know about the exact number of people dead and injured.

News on Natural Calamities:

Weather conditions are quite unpredictable at least for the ordinary people. They never know when a natural calamity might take place until and unless informed before. Leave that to the various types of weather related news channels of DISHNetwork. In case any natural calamity takes place, these channels will give you first hand information. From tsunami and tornado to earthquake and heavy downpour, you can rely on these weather channels providing you full coverage.

Political News:

News on politics is a great favorite among most of the viewers. Get updated news on matters relating to the political world at super fast speed through the DISH HD channels. Get a clear picture of what the political leaders of the nations are doing for the people worldwide. You can also get to know about the inter-personal relationships among nations.

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Satellite TV offers best deals while subscribing for DISH Network services. Enjoy watching your choicest shows in HD mode.

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Get Minute by Minute Updates through Various Satellite TV News Channels

Get Minute by Minute Updates through Various Satellite TV News Channels

Earlier people felt that television was nothing more than entertainment media showing colorful shows and programs. It was devoid of any informative or educative content. This is typical with cable TV subscription. Viewers do get entertained but channels are limited and most of the shows are repetitive with nothing fruitful to learn. The concept of television viewing underwent a sea-change with the coming of Satellite TV. With innumerable digital quality channels in hand, the viewers have so many options. These channels not only entertain you but impart education and information as well. The various news channels provide you with updated news 24/7 about all the major news worldwide.

Few of the news channels that you would love to watch are BBC, CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg and many more. Each of these HD channels broadcast news and important issues taking in various sectors taking place all over the world. Newspapers do enrich our knowledge about all the ongoing and latest happenings of the world but text alone can never be that interesting. Practical images have a greater impact upon the minds of the viewers. This is exactly what these news channels do. If there is any breaking news, these digital quality news channels will broadcast the same within minutes. You no longer have to wait for the newspaper to be dropped at your doorstep only to read stale news.

By browsing through the DISH Network channels and remain updated about all the crucial events taking place around the globe. Let us carefully analyze the various types of news that these channels have to offer to all the viewers.

News on Mishaps and Accidents:

Every now and then major accidents take place pertaining to plane crash, suicide bomb attacks, collision between trains, mine explosion and many more. You will get a clear picture and reasons as to why and how these major accidents take place. The fearless newspaper reporters will take you to the exact places where these mishaps have taken place. You can come to know about the exact number of people dead and injured.

News on Natural Calamities:

Weather conditions are quite unpredictable at least for the ordinary people. They never know when a natural calamity might take place until and unless informed before. Leave that to the various types of weather related news channels of DISHNetwork. In case any natural calamity takes place, these channels will give you first hand information. From tsunami and tornado to earthquake and heavy downpour, you can rely on these weather channels providing you full coverage.

Political News:

News on politics is a great favorite among most of the viewers. Get updated news on matters relating to the political world at super fast speed through the DISH HD channels. Get a clear picture of what the political leaders of the nations are doing for the people worldwide. You can also get to know about the inter-personal relationships among nations.

News on Stocks and Shares:

Remain current about the prevailing financial condition of the economic market by watching channels like Bloomberg.

Satellite TV offers best deals while subscribing for DISH Network services. Enjoy watching your choicest shows in HD mode.

More Political News Articles