Sunday, May 31, 2015

Good Morning, Baltimore!

Since August 9th of last year, the day Michael Brown was shot by a police officer in Ferguson - there has been national tension on the relationship of law officials and African Americans. Riots, civil unrest, and many protests broke out, not only in the streets of Ferguson, but all over the world. #Blacklivesmatter is still trending on Twitter today. Yet, sadly, history repeats itself. Just soon after Ferguson, protests have broken out in Baltimore over an eerily similar situation. Freddy Gray sustained injuries from an arrest by a police officer - and then shortly died soon after. Just like Ferguson, protests have broken out and spread to every corner of the nation. ((I've blogged about these protests, and similar protest symbols before (click here and here)). 

While looking online, I noticed a strange parallel to one of my favorite childhood musical movies, Hairspray. On the right is an image taken from a scene in the movie and on the left is an image of the real-life protests in the streets of Baltimore today. Both protests are set in Baltimore and both are standing up for equality. Similarly, both marches are made up of, mainly, young African Americans and a few other white people. I think it's important that both protests are set in Baltimore because according to the Census, 63% of Baltimore city is African American. It's interesting that in a city that is predominately African American, there is still so much inequality in both scenes. The only thing that is different between there two images is the time period. These two scenes are 53 years apart.

 Have we made any progress? 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Balls Are More Important

Football: a sport so uniquely American - associated with masculinity, toughness, and aggression. Every year, millions flock to their television to watch the magnum opus of the National Football League: The Super Bowl tournament - which determines the overall best team in the nation (and I guess, overall the world). This past year, there was a scandal involving the air pressure in the footballs used. Many thought the Patriots deflated the balls on purpose, making them easier to catch. This past week, Tom Brady, the quarterback for the Patriots, was found guilty and suspended 4 games

The investigated report said, "it is more probable than not" that Brady was "at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities" of locker room attendant Jim McNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski" (CNN). 

This made me unhappy. Not because I am a die hard Patriots fan, nor do I even care for football in general, but because Tom Brady was suspended for more games than another football player, Ray Rice. 

This fall, a video was released of Ray Rice beating his fiance and then dragging her unconscious body out of the elevator. And what did the NFL do? They suspended him for a mere 2 games and made him attend a mandatory domestic violence workshop, because sure... that'll really teach him a lesson.

 According to the results of a recent Adweek/ Harris Poll, "almost two thirds of U.S. adults say they currently watch NFL football (64%), including almost three quarters of men (73%) and over half of women (55%)"(TVbythenumbers). Football has an obvious pull in American society, with the fact that more than half of the population is said to tune into the big games. So what does this difference of punishment teach Americans? It teaches us that domestic violence is okay, and that it can be fixed with a  little slap on the wrist, but how dare Tom Brady be "generally aware" of the fact the air pressure wasn't up to standard.

I guess balls really are more important.