English Only

 

When we look at race as a social construction dividing throughout history, then we have to considered different ethnic groups.  Race initially in the United States was more describing the color of a person.  We have seen tremendous changes during the Civil Rights movement abolishing slavery, and giving the Black Americans rights in this country. The steps might have been slow, but Black Americans have accomplished major milestones.  Prior to the Civil Rights movement, Blacks was treated like commodity, being traded and sold like animals.  Today, we have a biracial President of the United States.   

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Over the years, race is becoming less of a color issue, but more of an ethnicity issue.  The United States is having rapid growth in our Hispanic/Latino populations.   There has been so much migration to the United States, both legally and illegally.  This has created several concerns throughout the United States, and there are several groups pushing for an “English Only” movement.  The goal is to promote efficiency through the United States and keep English as the official language.  This is no different from the practices from other countries for example, in China the language is Chinese, in Japan it is Japanese, in Germany it is German.  The concept is simple, and the request for “English Only” should be without a doubt.  It is the same customary practices that when you travel abroad; it is unfeasible for you to demand that the country you enter conforms to your language. 

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The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states employer can demand employees to speak English at work when it is business related.  This law supports the foundation of having a primary language in the United States.

The Institute for Language and Education Policy (ILEP) in 2006 said that a national language is unfeasible in the United States.  The director said that if the majority of the people in the United States did not speak English, then this policy would threaten the rights of people who have migrated here.  He believe it would exacerbate more division and tension between ethnic and minority groups, which are inconsistent with American values.  He also focus on who’s responsibility would it be to teach English.  The responsibility would no longer be the governments.

If we refuse to have an official language in the United States, imagine the chaos from traveling state to state.  Imagine the chaos within the States, what would be the official language for documentation and communication. The United States of America is a country full of different ethnicities and cultures, but we can all communicate through one language, that is English.  I do not think it is fair to say that the United States cannot have a official language, because of the people who are here that do not speak English.  If we design our language for our Hispanic/Latino populations, how is this not discriminatory to our Korean population.  How can you read the signs on the roads, manage your bank accounts, work, complete legal immigrant paperwork, if you cannot read English.  So, it is only fair to ask that if you would like to reside in this country, in is important for you to speak the language and that is currently English. 

 

Yellow Journalism

How the media presents a topic to the public, effects how the public perceives and reacts to the topic. Whoever is controlling the media has the opportunity to make a huge impact to their audience.  Propaganda is used all over the world to promote or expose different political positions, and ideas. In several countries the government censors and controls the media. According to The Globalist Report, the top 5 countries that censor media are Cuba, North Korea, Burma, Libya, and Syria. They use filtering software to block political opinions and negative publicity. Just recently, in July 2013, Somalia passed a draft media law that would silence their media and public debates going on during this controversy time.

ImageOur media promotes and encourages Americans to vote. Depending on which candidates are being promoted (based on who is paying for the advertisement) you will see either a positive portrayal of those people or something very negative. It all depends on how the media wants to persuade you to vote. The media can even target various ethnic groups, based on where they are trying to encourage their votes. We even have websites, The Brookings Institute has an article called, “Ten Ways Social Media Can Improve Campaign Engagement and Reinvigorate American Democracy” which gives you guidelines on how you can use MySpace, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook to target a larger audience.Image

The media has influenced the health of our nation and sent it down a spiraling path, which we are currently pulling ourselves out of. Smoking used to be portrayed by the media as something cool, fashionable, and relaxing, it supposedly had minor health consequences. Large tobacco firms paid for the advertisement even though they knew that smoking was known to be harmful to our health. The media however, gladly accepted the money and promoted the advertisement. Now, the media is promoting the opposite, and we are seeing commercials showing the reality of smoking and the damage it causes to the body. Smoking is no longer acceptable on airplanes, restaurants, businesses and even some cities like Loma Linda, CA (I know, because I live there). On the other hand, in 2009 the H1N1 virus reached epidemic status, and the media was able to provide up to date information regarding the flu, where to get vaccines, and where travel was not recommended.

How much influence does the media have on the values and morality of our country. Have we become desensitized, because of the repetition of the information we see and are exposed to? Are we horrified when we lose one solider fighting in a war for our freedom, or do we feel it to be just another person doing their job?

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Why does it take the magnitude of 9/11 to stop our nation and made us think as well as make us take a stand.

Violence in American Culture

Are we an inherently violent culture or one that is obsessed with safety, that’s the question.  I believe America is a violent culture based on how different situations are handled. We can look at the foundation of this country by reviewing some of our historical events.  Going back to the slaves era, we can see the violence involved in using free labor in America. When Lincoln was preparing to abolish slavery, America’s response was the Civil war. When alcohol was banned in the prohibition era, America responded with the rise of organized crime. The violence that took place in these past events was focused, deliberate, with a more cause and effect type of position. The violence was either to defend or take a stance on a position.  There was a less tendency for random acts of violence.

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Al Capone – American Gangster

Moving forward, theviolence in our society has changed.  Technological advances have eased the ability to obtain more dangerous types of weapons. Our society has created such an insidious, horrific, and unimaginable level of violence.  Murders are even willing to target our most vulnerable victims with outrageous combat weapons.  Looking at some of the massacres that have occurred at our schools in the last 15 years have been horrific.

 

The Columbine high school massacre, which occurred in 1999, resulted in the deaths of 12 students and 1 teacher an additional 24 students injured. The massacre that took place at Columbine High School rejuvenated dominant debates on gun control.  However, that was not enough to make major changes.  On April 16, 2007 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University massacre was the deadliest shooting incident by a single gunman in U.S. history.  A single gunman came to the campus and killed 33 students and injured at least 15 people.  This massacre is a reflection of how violent people in America can be.  The severity of this massacre caused the State of Virginia to rethink and change their gun laws in order to prevent this type of tragedy.  The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that occurred last year killed 20 students between the ages of 6 and 7.

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This shooter targeted the kids, and killed 6 adults who got in his way. This was the second deadliest shooting incident by a single gunman in U.S. history.  He used an assault rifle to kill little kids in a classroom. This was such an outrage to our country.  Our young children are vulnerable and innocent and now when you look on the faces of the kids who survived you see fear. This event is so absurd, and has created chaos in our country.  It is unimaginable, and yet as a nation we are still trying to work through a solution.

The random acts of violence in this country have created such a demand for gun control.  History has painted the picture of violence, and now is the time that we implement some types of Gun Control to prevent a repeat of history.