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Friday, July 10, 2015

Engaging Conversations On the Go

I was very excited to go to class today because Professor Lamas invited such a powerful and influential speaker to speak with us this morning. Dr. Shani Byard, a University of California Los Angeles adjunct professor, came to reiterate the meaning of racism. The meaning behind racism and how it's incorporated in our everyday lives yet we fail to recognize them. Dr. Byard allowed me to understand even the simplest music videos that we enjoy watching because of the ultra HD quality or the on point beat, we could be missing out some of the most important messages that's being broadcasted. I truly enjoyed her session and I hope for her to come back and cover more topics that of interest.

Today's morning started with a decent breakfast meal over at the 1920 Commons. The pancakes were just the right kind of fluffiness I was looking for. The fruits were fresh so I enjoyed that upgrade too. The one thing I still think would have been better was the eggs. They are super yellow with just the right, perfect proportions with every scoop. That just looks too perfect to be scrambled eggs. I would rate today's breakfast at the Commons as the best so far. All was going well and when everyone finished, we had a final debate on whether or not attending the racism presentation given by Dr. Shani Byard or the benefits of capitalism with Professor Lamas. The moment I saw the email containing our class schedule at 2AM, I read it and was determined to attend this workshop. Everyone else was considering which to pick, except I knew that I will attend the racism presentation.
How media portrays people in these two categories
The whole two tours of talking socialism injustice and how mass media is deeply connected to slavery on a corporate level. A hip hop song we evaluated was Nicki Minaj's Only music video. The racist messages instilled inside the music video made some very uncomfortable but that's how you get people to talk. It not only says the "n" and curse words numerous of times but also how female dominance is shown over male submission. The graphics made it overwhelmingly brutal and sexually informative that guys are basically being beat up while girls show off their curves. Nicki Minaj's boss is Lil Wayne whose boss is Young Money/Cash Money Records. Their record label is owned by Universal Music Group whose owned by Vivendi. Now we're getting to point. Vivendi has over $22 billion worth of stocks and one cannot earn that much simply buy selling records which means it is accumulated wealth over generations. Back in the days, slave plantations were a serious way of making quick, fast money so Vivendi was funded upon slavery back in the day. And because Vivendi's foundation is built upon slavery, they are incorporating the aspects of slavery and stereotypical memo throughout her whole video. I found that astounding because regular teenagers like myself would probably listen to it because of the beat and popularity but I know that it is way more than just looking at Nicki Minaj flashing. 

We ended this beautiful session at around 11:30AM but I decided to explore a little bit more with Dr. Byard so I stayed and asked a few personal questions about her teaching experience and possibility of coming again and informing us on more topics. She truly painted the picture well and precise. I went off to lunch feeling contented and everything I got just tasted better. Our class later travelled together to South Philadelphia to listen to a group of activists for better illegal immigrant rights, Juntos.
Their presentation was situated inside a museum so we got to glimpse at the art displayed before heading to listen to their stories about crossing the border to the United States in order to have a better life. I can connect to them on a deeper level, I think, because I come from a community that contains many of these cases on a regular basis. I hear of many of my peers stories about coming here undocumented and how hard it was to survive without parents too. 

We finished at around 4PM and headed back to the Quad for some upcoming events such as the movie! Our mutual agreement of watching the minions was the best thing ever. The movie was humorous and full-on comedy. But because of what we were learning in today's morning session, I analyzed the film on a critical level and realized how much of the concealed messages hidden within the laughs and giggles. I was sad to see even a movie like the minions can be a product of such things. As they all say, the media is a tool for profit and the reason why corporates are holding onto this strategy and not letting go is because it earns them money, a lot of money. I then started to get pissed and I think that filled up my stomache as I only enjoyed a Mango Fruit Smoothie w/ Yogurt at Wawa's for dinner. Today has been one of the better days and I hope that it will be like this for the upcoming week.
Wish you were here!

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