Image taken from: http://www.txstate.edu/allies/lgbtq_community/cycle.html

This, my dear friends, is the Cycle of Oppression that I am familiar with. I want to stress that this is my own interpretation, and that the definitions can vary depending on who you ask. 

The Cycle has four main components, and an optional fifth component. I will attempt to take the Trayvon Martin…. event, through the Cycle of Oppression. 

1) Stereotype: A Stereotype is an Idea. A Stereotype is any generalization made about an entire group of people. Common stereotypes you may encounter include “Asians are good at math”, “Asians are bad drivers”, “Mexicans are [undocumented]”, “Black people are suspicious”, “White people are racists”. Stereotypes can be Functional or Dysfunctional, Functional when they are validated by an experience where it is fulfilled, or Dysfunctional when they are refuted by an experience where it is not fulfilled. 

>In the case of Trayvon Martin, the Stereotype was likely: “Black people [in hoodies] are suspicious.” 

2) Prejudice: A Prejudice is a negative idea. A Stereotype that has negative connotations or causes negative feelings about a group of people being stereotyped becomes a Prejudice. Prejudices are negative feelings and ideas about a group of people, functional or dysfunctional. 

>In the case of Trayvon Martin, the Prejudice was likely: “Suspicious Black people are a threat, probably some criminal.”

3) Discrimination: Discrimination is an action. A Prejudice that manifests as an action is Discrimination. The act of Discrimination is towards an individual or to a group of people belonging to the group being stereotyped. Two important acts of Discrimination to note/compare/contrast: “Black people are suspicious, and thus untrustworthy, so I will not hire a person with a Black name” and “White people are racists, and thus I have negative feelings about them, so I will not hire a person who is white (or has an Anglo name)”

>In the case of Trayvon Martin, the act of Discrimination was likely: “Suspicious Black people [men] [in hoodies] are a threat or criminal; this person is a Black man in a hoodie, thus he is a threat or criminal, so I should pursue him and detain him to prevent criminal activity, I should also carry a weapon because he is a threat.” 

4) Oppression: Oppression is systematic and widespread trends. Oppression is the systematic and institutional (government, education, law enforcement, healthcare, welfare, media, social norms, etc) perpetuation of acts of Discrimination. Specific forms of Oppression include Racism, Sexism, Heterosexism, Ableism, Ageism, and many more.

Because Oppression is about systematic and widespread perpetuation, this is why I define “Reverse Racism” to be a myth. Studies have confirmed what many people of color know already from their own individual experiences: having a non-Anglo name reduces your chances of getting a job on a macro level. Having an Anglo name, having a portion of White Privilege, shields one from the Act of Discrimination that are based on a Prejudice against Black names that are associated with the Negative Stereotype of suspicious/untrustworthy/lazy Black people. 

>In the case of Trayvon Martin, the tragedy that occurred was nothing unusual to anyone who pays attention to systematic racial discrimination by law enforcement, and probably even less unusual to those people of color who live everyday with the fear of being racially profiled by a police officer.

The institutionalized criminalization of Black people is a subset of the Oppression called Racism. The media and discriminatory drug laws perpetuate negative stereotypes about Black people as suspicious and untrustworthy, and a normalized image of the criminal Black man enters the minds of everyday people. The idea of a criminal Black man. A Stereotype. That is how the Cycle of Oppression perpetuates itself. 

5) Internalized Oppression: But there is a more sinister component to the Cycle of Oppression. Internalized Oppression is when individuals from the group being stereotyped actually begin to internalize the negative Stereotypes, the Prejudices, the acts of Discrimination, and the systematic Oppression that they feel they just cannot escape. A person may begin to believe that there is no future for them, that the education system will fail them, that law enforcement will racially profile them, that their peers will stereotype them, that they will be turned away from jobs they should have been qualified for. And from that Internalized Oppression, that self hate and despair, a person may turn to the negative Stereotypes that have been put in front of them. And then they too become part of the Cycle, becoming the negative Stereotype forced onto them, and perpetuating the Cycle. 

A Note on (Conservative) American Exceptionalism

If you watch the news, or just the Daily Show and Colbert Report, you’ll notice that there’s a lot of hoopla from conservatives like Fox News and the entire GOP Presidential field about America being the best country in the world yaddah yaddah yaddah, and how they kinda force liberals like Obama to adopt that kind of rhetoric. Anyways, I take serious issue with Conservative American Exceptionalism, the idea that being “American”, whatever the hell that even means, makes you a better person than non-Americans. 

Hit Read More for my reasoning. 

Why do I take issue with it? Because I’m an immigrant. I was born a Communist (People’s Republic of China). My parents brought me to America at the age of 2. I was naturalized many years later, and I have been a full American citizen for at least 6-8 years. I’ve grown up as an American, in America, with all the culture and trappings of being “American”. I still hold onto parts of my Chinese heritage, through language, some traditions, and through extended family who are in China. 

Now, how American am I? What makes me “American”? Is it determined by the location of my birth? Is it determined by my citizenship status? Is it determined by my knowledge of America and American history? Is it determined by how culturally assimilated I am to American culture? Is it determined by my faith and loyalty to the American Government? Is it possible to be kind of American but not really American?

Because by every measure I just listed, except for one, I can consider myself an American. But some people, namely conservatives, will make the claim that I’m not truly American because I was not born here. I can’t become President, for example, because I wasn’t born here. But anyways, the premise that Americans are better than non-Americans is premised mainly on location of birth and residence. American Exceptionalism is tied to Nationalist Isolationism, that “We’re better than them”. 

So, because I wasn’t born here, am I less of a person, less moral, less courageous, less accepting, less compassionate, than someone who was born here? Or perhaps when I stepped off the airplane, I magically became all those wonderful traits that only Americans have? Or did it happen when I got my citizenship status? 

Because that’s what the conservative rhetoric is telling people. It’s saying that Americans are inherently superior and better than other people. Hence why they reject multilateral actions and the United Nations. Hence why the GOP candidates freely bash China for the sake of bashing the Chinese, and we need saner minds like Huntsman to explain that it’s not that simple. I think it has really absurd and negative real effects, all predicated on an equally absurd and ignorant imaginary concept rooted in the same ideas of privilege, power, domination, and superiority that also feeds racism. 

Don’t get me wrong. I love America, I call myself American, and I think America is still the standard of the world. But that doesn’t mean I should turn a blind eye to all the things that America has and is still doing wrong. That doesn’t mean I can’t critique and criticize America when it does things wrong. Which is one of the classic hypocritical double standard attacks in the repertoire of the GOP leadership/Fox News. They get to claim that America is becoming liberal and morally corrupt and other lies, while proclaiming how much they love America and America is where all the best people in the world are. 

A Quick Note on "Choices"

A few days ago I posed the question: Would you rather have economic stability at cost of your dehumanization, or be respected as a full human at the cost of economic stability?

This article on Racism I’m reading touches on something similar. It tells the stories of many African Americans in the early 1900’s who were light skinned enough to “pass” as White, who got White, better paying jobs. It tells the stories of how they suffered silently listening to and going along with the overt racism of their White co-workers, pretending to be people who they were not, just so they could put food on the table for their families. 

A Quick Note on National Perspectives

From my many discussions and debates and learning in recent times, I’d like to categorize perspectives into 4 broad categories. These categories are all intricately connected, but to me, all seem to offer slightly different priorities. I consider the four perspectives (that I can think of at the moment) to be Political/Government, Economical, Sociological/Social, and Scientific. 

These are of course my own opinions, they are based on the knowledge and observations I’ve collected, and are not sourced. 

Hit Read More for my commentary. It’s really nothing new. Kind of regurgitating well known and obvious facts. I am also making generalizations about each of these categories, referring more to the most publicized or majority opinion of each perspective. 

When I say “Political” I more mean Government. So it seems a big argument these days is the role of Government in the nation versus the role of Economics in the nation. Should we have an authority of Government that decides what’s right and wrong? Or should we let the free market of Economics decide what’s right and wrong? 

And then we have the Sociological/Social Justice perspective compared to the Economics perspective. Which is more important? The money that drives the functions of the world? Or the people who inhabit the world? A pure Economics perspective would look more at situations based on the monetary flow, while a Sociologist/Social Justice advocate perspective would look more at the people, decisions, and effects of social patterns. Neither view can easily be discounted because both have very real and quantifiable effects.

Sociological/Social Justice is tied very closely to Government, in that the Sociological/Social Justice perspective hopes to advocate for the Government to put lots of effort into social services that it believes the people of the society need. But which then clashes with how big the role of Government should be compared to Economics.

Then you can throw in the Scientific perspective. What about real effects like diminishing resources and climate change? Increased, healthier populations through Social Justice would undoubtedly put further strains on the world’s capacity to provide resources. Increased Economic activity would probably increase carbon emissions for the foreseeable future, and contribute to more global warming.

And then to what extent should Government or Economics factor into cutting edge scientific research? Should the Government use taxpayer money to push forward research like it did with NASA? Fund public research universities like the UC? Or should we only let the free market Economics decide through investors? 

It’s obvious I think then that a mix of all perspectives is what’s needed. And while the country is always good about having the different perspectives on the macro level, it’s always been a challenge I think for perspectives to find common ground and compromise. Though compromise has been found many times, I feel that sometimes, one perspective still starts outweighing another, not by virtue of fact, but because of the individuals who are making the decisions. I think an ideal leader, like the President, needs to be able to balance these perspectives and see issues from all four angles. 

A Quick Note on Classism

OK. Ok. Ok. So I just started reading an article on Classism. Of note is that the article is from an anthology of articles in the frame of Social Justice. And the very first sentence is this: “Persistent inequality on the basis of social and economic class seems especially difficult to acknowledge in the United States, possibly because of our belief in meritocracy (that hard work and talent will be rewarded), possibly because we equate our system of political equality with equality of economic opportunity.” 

I am so excited and scared to see where this article is going. I’m just so amazed that it immediately has touched on something I just spent a lot of time blogging on (my Thought of the Day: On Value of Work) this very issue. I am so excited to learn more about this issue. 

Addendum: This just gets better and better. This article, written in like 2000, is talking about Rich 1%, the Affluent 9%, and the Rest of Us 90%. It’s talking about rich investors, wall street traders, and largest corporations. Mind=Blown. 

Haha really, Mitt Romney? Smooth move there, being in touch with the middle class. I’ll expand on this later.

Seeing as I’ve promised a lot of things already, I’ll list them out here for my own reference. These posts will be exploratory, based on information I’ve learned from other sources such as College Courses, news articles, opinion pieces, and more. 

Topics that I hope to cover during this 4 week Winter Break:

>Classism and Politics: Why money is a barrier to participating in the political process as a voter and as a politician

>Obesity Epidemic: Why might it be happening, and why we need to address the perpetrator, not just shame the victim.

>Marketing and Consumerism: Creating a problem, convincing people that they have that problem, then selling them a product to fix that problem

>Friend Zone: What is this phenomenon (of labeling an experience as such) and what might it mean

>Privilege, Allyship, and Advocacy: My perspective on this tricky topic I have to keep coming back to

>Privilege: What does it mean, and how do different people perceive it

>Glee and the portrayal of Asian Americans: My perspective and analysis of what the title says

>Ethnoburbs/Ethnic Enclaves/Ethnic Majority: In a decidedly not-post-racial society, one way to feel protected from perceived and real aggression is to be close to others of the same race or ethnicity. Pros and Cons, from my perspective.

>Confusing Social Class and Economic Class: How we associate wealth with character

>Motive for Innovation and Good Design: Do innovators and engineers build to build something great, or build to snag a sweet profit? And how do those mindsets affect the products we get?

>IMF and Developing Nations: When austerity goes wrong and globalization hurts countries

>Zero-Sum: What does this term mean, and how applicable is it to all of the issues swirling around in the world?

>Institutional Oppression versus Individual Failure: A crux of difference of opinion between a Social Justice perspective and a more… free market-esque perspective. 

>”It’s not as bad as it used to be”: Minimization and complacency of social ills, and why it is so problematic these days

>Biological Imperative versus Learned Behavior: Is it biological or learned behavior, the stereotypes of the emotional woman or the violent man?

A short piece at The Society Pages about the system in which acts of escalated police response to protesters operates. How the actions of people like John Pike are enabled and encouraged in the current system of law enforcement. Also links to the fascinating article on the “Broken Windows Theory”, which shows that increased Police patrols usually doesn’t actually reduce crime, but reduces the sense of crime in a community. And how then any “disorderly conduct” that breaks the norm of a “quiet and orderly” community, namely any form of public protest, becomes subject to escalated force. 

I heard snippets of this news here and there recently. And it’s still so shocking to read a report confirming it. GOP oriented lawmakers across the country are passing legislation that puts restrictions on voting under the guise of preventing voter fraud. I think anyone who paid attention in US History in High School can realize the connection to the Jim Crow laws of the past that restricted African Americans and other People of Color from voting even after they gained Constitutional voting rights. Stupid things like literacy tests that White people could barely pass. Now updated for the modern era classism and racism, targeting demographics that as a pattern just don’t need to have the specific required thing that the laws are asking for. Truly, it is a return to the idea of “Voting is only for Rich White Men”. 

A Quick Note/Snipe on Opportunity

I live in the lap of comfort. Not luxury, but comfort. I am part of an upper-middle class family with a pretty desirable income. We can be pointed to as a “model minority”. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. Though my parents did work extremely hard to get where they are now, it’s important and easy to forget a critical detail. They received an exceptionally rigorous technical education through a state public university funded by the People’s Republic of China. If they didn’t get that start, aided by a government which is admittedly oppressive but also extremely dedicated to education for the talented, we would not be in our financial status we have right now. 

This story is a big reason why I am an advocate for education, funded by the government, to increase knowledge and opportunity for all. 

A Quick Note on Power

In my Honest Opinion. There is nothing wrong with being in the mainstream. There is nothing wrong with being Republican. There is nothing wrong with being Christian. There is nothing wrong with being White. There is nothing wrong with being Rich. There is nothing wrong with being Male, Able Bodied, Heterosexual, Average Sized, or whatever other Power and Privilege you may have. There is nothing wrong with having Power, unless you use that Power to harm others. 

A Note on "Government"

With the SOPA and PIPA legislation in Congress, there’s a lot of talk, again, about how everyone hates the “Government” intruding into our lives, privacy, censorship, blah blah blah.

Hit Read More at your discretion, for a long string of incoherent thoughts on “Government”.

If you read my blog then you might know that I… oppose the “small government” rhetoric that often comes from the GOP.

If you read my blog then you might notice that I put things in quotation marks a lot. I do this because I get the feeling that everyone has a different perception of a word. Words have meanings, but they also have Real meanings and Ideal meanings. It’s a limitation of the human brain, of course, to use words to describe broad but similar groups of stuff. 

[TL;DR: I have a personal nitpick with how language limitations means that people, especially politicians, don’t say what they mean, by their own fault or not. ]

When people talk about the “Government” they usually mean the President, Congress, and the Supreme Court. Each are important, yes, but I think that it is an oversimplification of the magnitude and reach of the “Government”. When people talk about the “Government”, it’s also not clear which ”Government” they’re talking about. The Federal Government? The State Government? The City Government? Each is very different from the others and have very different impacts on our lives.

When Mitt Romney paints a broad stroke and says earlier today “The Government doesn’t create jobs, the private sector does.” He’s telling only a half truth. What really is the “Public Sector” and the “Private Sector”? You could say that a prime example of the “Public Sector” are teachers. But for the sake of argument let’s ignore that clear example of the “Public Sector” being vitally important to jobs and the country. What’s an obvious “Private Sector”? Boeing. Lockheed Martin. Northrup Grumman. Private businesses in the “Private Sector”. Rakes in billions of dollars every year. Employs the best engineers in the country. Advances (violent) technology to the bleeding edge. What happens if we reduce our “Government” (Federal and State AND City) and their military/defense budgets get slashed? These “Private Sector” businesses will go kaput! Mitt Romney is obviously pandering to people who like the sound of “Small Government”, but it’s a big falsehood that simply cutting the size of Government would help the “Private Sector” create more jobs. The “Public” and “Private” Sectors are intricately connected in extremely far reaching and deep ways. For better or for worse, by design or by accident, that’s the way it is. 

But that’s a tangent. Back to “Government”. Now perhaps I’m just nitpicking here, but I think there are some interesting kind-of contradictions in what people’s visions of government are, for the present. When I listen to what the GOP has to say about “Small Government” (Federal), I see a particular picture. I see a “Government” that doesn’t provide welfare services (social security, food stamps, medicare/medicaid), does not regulate the economy, does not protect the environment, etc. This is the “Government” vision more in line with a strictly Individualism view of the world. What MY vision of “Not Small Government” is the opposite, closer to what we have today. I think that in the present moment, we need a “Government” that is proactive and provides welfare services, regulates the economy, protects the environment, etc. I believe that Social Justice needs to be done, and that the only entity powerful enough to do so is the “Government” (mainly Federal, but also State and City). I don’t think that full Individualism is a reality in this country, and that “Government” intervention needs to happen in many places in the present time. 

"But!" one might say, "You oppose SOPA, PIPA, and the NDAA!" What’s the difference between those bills, which are part of a vision of a "Not Small Government", and the Social Justice Interventionist "Not Small Government" that I want? Well that’s a conundrum isn’t it? I can’t rail for a "Not Small Government", yet still oppose a "Not Small Government" right? Well that’s just my very long winded way of getting back to the point that words can’t accurately capture the meaning of what we say.

My specific and nuanced vision of a system that protects the vulnerable “Government” can’t be accurately reflected by the expedient phrase “Not Small Government”. Nor can the GOP’s vision of a little-regulation, large military, social conservative enforcing “Government” be accurately reflected by the expedient and honeysweet phrase “Small Government”. 

A Note in Defense of Higher Education and the University of California

A friend of mine recently said in response to UC Student protests against the budget cuts and fee increaes that “Finally, if you absolutely cannot afford the tuition, then you shouldn’t be attending the university. I know plenty of people that chose community college over a public or private university in order to save money. Higher education is encouraged and recommended, but nevertheless, it is a privilege, not an entitlement. These students ignore all the responsible people that actually choose to LIVE WITHIN THEIR MEANS.”

It was pretty shocking to me to hear this coming from a person educated in the California High School system and the University of California system. But it’s a sentiment that I’ve been hearing from different sources. Education in America has turned from a Right into a, as my friend describes it, a Privilege. 

Hit Read More

Education as a Right is something that I and many others grew up with. Especially for my parents in Communist China, Education was the center of their young lives. The message there was that if you study hard, work hard, you’ll get into the best public universities in all of China, public universities that are world class. Once you complete your education at these top universities, your skills can and will be put to use furthering the economic and global power of China. The government of China, as oppressive as it was then and still is, understood just how important generations of top notch, skilled and educated students entering the workforce would be. They ultimately carried their Electrical Engineering degrees and knowledge here to the United States, where they and many of their classmates used their advanced technical skills to work their way up to high paying Upper Middle to Upper class jobs. 

The story, as it was told, is the same here in the United States. Go to school, stay out of trouble, study hard, and you’ll got to one of America’s great, world class universities. There you will gain skills and knowledge and a degree enviable by the world, and your average income over your lifetime will far exceed anyone with a lesser degree. The promise here in California was that you’ll be attending some of the best high schools in the nation, and from there you can go into a public university system that is the envy of the entire world, the University of California, for a reduced tuition that has been subsidized by the rest of California. The idea was that Education is a societal Right, that everyone has an interest in and a benefit from more and better Education. 

That was the story, at least. But fast forward to recent years, actually even almost two decades ago, with the State of California divesting from the University of California. The privatization of the University of California. The promise began to be broken. The UC Master Plan called for a World Class public university that would be Accessible to all who qualified and Affordable to all who desired to attend it. We now see a situation as unbalanced as America’s economic inequality. The poorest Californians made it to the UC can get financial aid to cover most of their expenses. The richest Californians who made it to the UC have enough family wealth to cover most of their expenses. The middle class Californians who made it to the UC have to take on crippling student loan debt that will likely stay with them for decades.

This is wrong, this is unfair, and ultimately it is a broken promise. The promise was that if you worked hard, were smart, studied hard, you CAN and WILL be able to go to a University of California. So Yes, we ARE Entitled to the World Class University of California education we EARNED. 

The above quote notes that people can just go to community colleges or something. I know it’s pretty classist of me to say this, but the UC and a community college are incomparable. The quality of education you can get here, the diverse range of things to discover on a full size university, are somethings you will rarely find anywhere else. 

I have talked to a few people who believe that America is a perfect Meritocracy. Where your hard work will get you were you deserve, will get you to the top. And that what you get and achieve is a direct reflection of your personal character and work ethic. But it’s clear that this is not true when absolutely competent and intelligent high school students can’t afford to attend a UC because they were born into the wrong income bracket. Please don’t think that scholarships and full rides can somehow cover all the middle class students (remember the bell curve) who look at the student loan debt they will be taking on and think that it just won’t be worth it. 

I believe that Education is a right, and should be maintained as a right. We as a community can only move forward with ever more educated individuals, and we cannot obtain that if we continue divesting from Higher Education. I don’t know how exactly we can get the money we need to make Higher Education more affordable, but there are certainly places to look at, much of it stemming from serious widespread socioeconomic inequality. I believe it is imperative that we fight for Education and make sure everyone qualified is able to receive it.

And as a current University of California, Irvine student, I still believe that the UC is one of the best options for Higher Education. The diversity of peoples and thoughts I’ve encountered here is enormous, such an eye opening experience. The passion I feel on this campus, to succeed and to live, is so real, and I want to help preserve this safe space and the other University of California’s as well. 

Thought of the Day: On Empathy and Advocacy

I feel that one of the strangest aspects of my passion for social justice issues is my own immense privilege and sheltered life. Sometimes I feel guilty about my passion, because I haven’t experienced personally all that much oppression.

Hit Read More

My Male, Heterosexual, Middle Class, Able Bodied, Average Sized, US Citizen, Cis Male, and Asian (in Asian majority communities) attributes have meant that I’ve rarely experienced trials, tribulations, and/or serious discrimination. I don’t have the compelling stories of oppression that inspire others to fight for social justice. But something I believe that I possess is a very strong sense of Empathy. I absolutely love listening to the compelling stories other people have to tell about their experiences and I am so inspired by them to take action. I have a strong sense of Empathy for what they felt, and a need to correct a wrong. I think that’s what drives me to be an Advocate, someone who has power and privilege, who reaches out to help those with less power and privilege. 

(Not So) Fun Fact of the Day:

Went swimming today. Couple of young adult looking Caucasian males were having a barbecue. As I’m swimming, I hear a “This is f***ing gay”, likely directed towards some aspect of their food. Made me cringe, want to say something, educate them about how offensive that kind of language can be. Felt powerless though, a single 19 year old Asian male with not the most authoritative appearance explaining to four very fit and cut Caucasian males probably in their early twenties why they shouldn’t throw around “f***ing gay”? I want so badly to learn how, or get training, practice, on how to deal with these situations. 

A short news piece by Time, hosted by Yahoo News. This line is a kicker: “But climate change is taking care of that whole Arctic sea iceproblem nicely — albeit with some pretty worrying effects for the rest of us — opening up vast new areas for oil exploration.” 

So let me get this straight: The next place where there is untold amounts of fossil fuels, is in frozen wastelands normally unreachable by humans. As in, Mother Nature literally prevents us from accessing it. But thanks to (Man Made) Global Warming and the accelerated melting of the Arctic ice, oil companies can now access this untapped source of fossil fuels, so they can pump MORE greenhouse gases into the air? So basically it’s a wonderful cycle where oil companies extract oil from other places, degrade the environment, and with a big “F You” to Mother Nature, now gets access to more oil. This sounds like great business. I’m sure it’ll be great for the economy. Bring lots of wealth, cheaper gas, more profits. And, not making light of my post just an hour ago, further raping this little spinning ball of water and dirt that is the only place in the known universe on which we as humans can live. Thank you oil companies, thank you. 

A Quick Note on Herd Immunity

Just a little informational session on what is “Herd Immunity” and why it is so important to society. 

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"Herd Immunity" is a form of Immunity from communicable diseases for an entire community. The idea is that if a high majority of people in a community are vaccinated or otherwise immune to a disease, the few who are not vaccinated are also less likely to be affected by the disease. The reason is that the disease is not easily spread when so many people are immune. The odds of the disease reaching a non-immune person are significantly lowered. The ideal "Herd Immunity" threshold is between 80%-95% for the most common vaccinated diseases. That means at least 80% of the community must be vaccinated to ensure a desired high level of protection from communicable diseases.

This is a critical component of modern day medicine. Vaccinations are usually proven to work to make people either immune or very resistant to a variety of deadly diseases. However, there are small numbers of people who for other medical conditions cannot receive particular vaccinations. Some are allergic to the method of vaccine delivery, some already have a weakened immune system, etc. The percentage of people who cannot take vaccinations is relatively small but numerically significant. 

So when people start getting paranoid of vaccinations and prevent their children from receiving vaccinations, they harm the “Herd Immunity”. I can also imagine immigrants or undocumented people who might be hesitant to have their children vaccinated. By increasing the number of non-immune population, they increase the number of potential infected and propagators of a communicable disease. This puts not only their own children at much higher risk for infection, they also put other un-vaccinated children, the ones who don’t have a choice, at risk. It’s a mixture of high individualism and anti-science becoming a serious problem for many more people.

Many reports show that “Herd Immunity” is dropping in many areas because parents are not getting their children vaccinated. This compromises the safety of the community and I think it is reckless and irresponsible. I think it’s one of those things where the “freedom” advocates will want to keep Government out of it, but it really is in the interest, the responsibility, of the Government to enforce vaccinations to protect citizens. 

It's Interesting

What you might be able to tell from a person’s language. 

For example today, I saw/heard friends toss around the words “gay” and “rape” haphazardly. I might be able to assume they are lacking specific knowledge or training on how to be an ally for LGBTQ, or how to be an advocate for victims of sexual assault, respectively. 

For example today, I heard a friend use “Ya’ll” when addressing a mixed-gender group. On a personal tooting-my-own-horn, I instinctively used “they” when referring to a person whose gender was not identified. And previously, someone using “partner” instead of boyfriend/girlfriend. When I hear those words I might be able to assume that the person is conscious of equality issues or they may be an ally. 

youtube

"Straw Feminist Trope" by Anita Sarkeesian.

Another great video on media tropes and women. While I don’t necessarily agree with every example used in the video, I strongly agree with the overall message: That “feminism” is often demonized in the media, to the point where people will say “I believe in equal rights for men and women BUT I’m not a feminist”.