In the US, activism is defined by with two time periods: the Revolutionary War period and the 60’s. In the build up to the Revolutionary War, colonists illustrated activism by protesting against the actions of their mother country. This was done using propaganda, boycotts and specific demonstrative events such as the Boston Tea Party. In comparison, in the 60’s there were a multitude of different protest movements including but not limited to, the protests against the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Protests which included protests against injustice based on race, gender and disability.
Activism in these two time periods are particularly notable because of their impact on the US. Following the Revolutionary War and the acts of activism that took place during the war, the Constitution was written with the First Amendment specifically being written to protest citizen’s right to protest and voice their displeasure with the government. This Amendment has been evoked multiple times in US history and is what allowed the activism in the 1960’s to take place. The activism that took place in this time period is particularly notable due to the role of media. As discussed in class, photographs and TV allowed others to see what the protests were like, including how they sometimes descended into violence. Furthermore, the activism in the 60’s were impactful because the methods used to protest set a precedent for today. People often protested by participating in sit ins and marches, gathering to support and listen to notable speakers. These shows of activism occurred across the country, allowing the activism in the time period to exist on a large scale. As illustrated by the current acts of activism, these large scale demonstrations occurring across the country still happens today.
Overall, the while the Revolutionary War period made activism legal and began to normalize it, it was the 60’s that finished normalizing activism and provided precedents for acts of activism. In this way, these two time periods defined activism in the US.
Although the sustainability initiatives shown in these videos differ as the initiative in Copenhagen focuses on UN sustainability goal 11 and the initiative in Nairobi focuses on UN sustainability goal 6, they are similar in the ways they impact the economy, the society, those who live in it and their health. Both sustainability initiatives bolster the economy by creating more jobs while also impacting the society by changing the infrastructure and social norms. The initiatives in Copenhagen create more jobs as they require people to research and figure out how to implement them while also making it easier and normative to use renewable resources and energy efficient transportation. In comparison, the clean water initiative in Nairobi creates manual labor jobs while also making it normal to have access to clean water and sanitation systems. Both the initiatives in Copenhagen and Nairobi elevate the cities they take place in while also promoting social change through the way they change the infrastructure and social practices in the two cities.
These initiatives also impact those who live in the communities by impacting the way they think of themselves. In the video, it was stated that the sustainability initiatives in Copenhagen would not be possible if the citizens did not do their part. By doing their part and because they are surrounded by sustainability, Copenhagen’s citizens are likely to incorporate sustainability into their self-concept. In comparison, Nairobi’s citizens are more likely to feel as though they have more dignity as a result of the sustainability initiatives that took place in their city (this was communicated in the interviews). Though the way that the sustainability initiatives impact people’s self-concept, they are impacting the city’s citizen’s personal identities. Finally, because these initiatives impact the air quality and cleanliness of Copenhagen and Nairobi’s citizens respectively, they are positively impacting the health of the city’s citizens.
While recycling is a part of being sustainable, I think that this interpretation of sustainability is too simplistic. Although it is possible to recycle many different kinds of object, I have found that when people see the recycling symbol, they usually only think of recycling paper and plastic products. This is likely because the recycling symbol is usually seen on recycling cans that only accept paper and plastic products. Additionally, the recycling symbol is often associated with the physical environment. However, as illustrated below, there is more to being sustainable than just helping the planet. However, because of the associations between the recycling symbol, paper and plastic products and the physical environment, and because being sustainable means more than just helping the planet, the image of the recycling symbol does not represent sustainability to me.
I think that sustainability is better represented by the picture that shows people, trees and a water source in a dome structure under a blue sky. To me, this picture shows the positive state of society if we lived in a more sustainable world. In this picture, the people all appear happy and healthy, representing that we, as a global society, have achieved equality for all as well as a basic level of health. Furthermore, the people are all peacefully co-existing which illustrates global cooperation and amicable global relationships. Additionally, in this picture the healthy trees, as well as the fish in the water, represent the positive state of the physical environment while the water shows that there is water security and this can be extended to food security as well. Finally, the overall tone of this picture is positive and shows a prosperous world. Overall, I think my interpretation of this picture illustrates the way I define sustainability; as a way to create a prosperous society in which everyone is able to peacefully coexist with each other and their, as well as the earths, needs are met.
I think that this site calculator was made with the primary intention of showing those who take it how their identities relate to each other. Although we often think about who we are as people and what we stand for/believe in we do not often think about how different aspects of our identities build our overall identity and our beliefs. This is likely because in any given situation, we are primed to act on only one, maybe two, identities. This calculator makes us consider each different aspect individually before showing us, numerically, the degree to which they intersect.
A secondary intention of this calculator is to illustrate to a person how privileged they really are. We often perceive how privileged we are based in biased ways based on our own view and feeling about our situation as well as our own perspective ourselves. This calculator is an objective tool that is able to give an unbiased perspective regarding how privileged we are. Furthermore, because the scores you receive are based on the answers that you input yourself, it is harder to dispute the results.
Based on the statement at the bottom of the webpage, which indicates that the calculator was created with the intention of fighting discrimination against marginalized communities, as well as the overall set up of the calculator, results section and overall webpage, I believe that this calculator was created for a serious reason and is not meant to be satirical.
I am not surprised at my intersectionality score. However, I am surprised at the privilege score I received as I anticipated that it would be higher. However, thinking about it more, I realized that I answered these questions based on how I view myself. For this reason, I may be given more privilege than indicated by the results.
I am able to related to some of the experiences detailed in this presentation as, in some cases, I experienced the exact same thing and in other cases I experienced things that are along the same lines.
Because I am biracial, the situation I am in often changes how I am viewed. When I am surrounded by others of varying ethnicities, I appear ethnically ambiguous. However, when I am surrounded by Caucasians, I tend to appear more Asian. On the flip side, when I am surrounded or viewed by Asians, I often appear more Caucasian. This has led to me being on the receiving end of many different types of microaggressions which vary depending on the context.
When I appear more ethnically ambiguous, I am often asked where I am from. My usual response is that I am from the suburbs of DC. This often prevents people from asking anything else as DC, like many other cities, is known for being racially diverse. However, sometimes people do not accept this answer and they often ask what countries my parents are from, where I was born or other similar questions.
When I am surrounded by Caucasian, and therefore appear more Asian in comparison, I often see people staring or pointing at me. In some cases, people have said ‘Asian’ things as I walked by or pulled their eyes back. This was something that happened when I went to visit a school in the Midwest.
In comparison, when I went to China, I viewed and singled out for looking Caucasian. This led to restaurant staff replacing the utensils (they assumed that I was unable to use chopsticks). People also came up to me and asking if they could take a picture with ‘the white girl’ and talking about me in Chinese (assuming that I did not know what they were saying).
I think that the best way a person can advance the cosmopolitan idea that “every human being has obligations to every other” is by promoting and explaining the idea as well as illustrating how to fulfill the obligation. I think it is important to explain the idea of fulfilling obligations as many people may not understand what it means or why it important. I also think that it is important to point out the consequences of not fulfilling these obligations to help people fully understand the responsibility they have. It may also be helpful to show how in fulfilling these obligations, you are helping every human, not just some.
For example, of Martin Niemoller’s famous World War II poem ‘First They Came’, coupled with the historical events taking place at the time, illustrate why it is important to speak up against racial injustice and shows what happens what this is not done. Recent events have also reflected this.
In addition to explaining the obligations, I also believe that in order to increase the extent that people fulfill these obligations is to make an effort to fulfill these obligations yourself and lead by example. Depending on the obligation that is being addressed, this may be done by devoting time and/or resources to a cause, raising awareness, speaking out or participating in a protest against a practice, as many people are currently doing.
I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to try to help people understand the idea of having obligations to other humans and the opportunity to lead by example and I often chose to do this by devoting my time to causes that help fulfill these obligations and raising awareness said obligations. Additionally, I, like many others, do my best to fulfill these obligations and help others by speaking out.
The global citizenship conversation reinforce the existing belief that those in non-Western societies are ‘less fortunate’ and ‘worse off’. By painting individuals in these societies as such, those in Western societies are immediately elevated while those who do not exist in Western societies are put at a disadvantage. Consequently, their communities, customs, way of life and even their lives themselves are viewed as less important and their overall worldviews are marginalized.
Global citizenship conversations also prompts the idea that there are two distinctly different types of societies; Western and non-Western. The idea that these societies are different creates a mental distance between the two which allows for an ‘us versus them’ mentality to be formed. In such cases, the ‘us’ population (Western society) feels superior to the ‘them’ population (non-Western society). Because of this feeling of superiority, the ‘us’ population often views and treats the ‘them’ population negatively.
Historically, ‘us versus them’ mentalities and feelings of superiority has led to ideas such as ‘the white man’s burden’ which was said to ‘justify’ colonization and slavery. In the 1700’s, Caucasian’s (the ‘us’ population) saw African’s (the ‘them’ population) as different than themselves. This perceived difference created a distance between the two populations in the Caucasian’s minds. This distance allowed Caucasian’s to think of themselves as superior and think of African’s as savage, inhuman and therefore inherently lesser. These views and attitudes towards the African population then used to ‘justify’ enslaving the African population, as well as the atrocious acts committed towards Africans. This was done by arguing that the Caucasian’s knew what was best for the African population. However, in this case, and in many others, all the Caucasian’s really did was take advantage of, mistreat and abuse those they deemed to be lesser.
I have previously thought of interdependence as a symbiotic relationship between communities and individuals within those communities. However, based on our recent conversation about the topic, I now think of interdependence as more similar to an extended family that all live under one roof in a collectivistic society. In such a household, each family member is related to each other in a different way. The ways they are related each other prompt different types of treatment and often, each family member also has a specific duty. All family members work together to ensure the function of the household and care of family members, however, depending on what the treatment and duties, some family members may be ‘better off’ or have better jobs/responsibilities than others. Overall, in such a system, anything that one family member does impacts all other family members to a certain degree. In a more global context, different communities would stand in the place of individual family members and everything that one community does affects all other communities.
My different relationships to things, people, communities and environments makes me a product of interdependence. Whether or not I am aware of it, all these things are working together to impact my personal experiences which in turn impact who I am as a person. For example, my relationships with my family members impact how I view myself within the family while my relationship with school impacts how I see myself as a person. Together, these two views, along with others such as my understanding of my cultural heritage, the area in which I grew up, etc., impacts who I am overall. In this way, who I am or how I perceive myself is dependent on my relationships with the different factors in the environment I grew up in and I, in turn, have likely impacted the same factors that have impacted me.