Thursday, November 19, 2009

On Washing Hands

Hospitals are the dirtiest place in America. A powerful theme in this essay is that doctors don’t take the time to cleanse themselves and to stay clean. They will go from patient to patient and shake hands and rub their nose, wipe their hands on their clothing or coat. They are in such a rush that they don’t (or wont?) take the time to wash their hands to rid themselves of bacteria to keep patients from getting infected with new diseases where it could possibly cost them their life. If not death it will make them sicker and they will be hospitalized even longer, putting them at further risk for infections and diseases. Semmelweis realized that simply by not washing ones hands well enough or even consistently that the doctors were to blame for childbed fever. At the time the death rate from this disease was an astonishing 20 percent! Realizing that they were to blame and that the doctors were spreading the disease; Semmelweis decided to order everyone in his ward to wash their hands with chlorine and a brush.
After they were instructed to wash their hands in this manner the rate fell immediately to 1 percent; therefore proving that doctors were the ones to blame for the disease because of their un-cleanliness. It was undeniable proof that he was right and that things needed to change in order for them to save their patients’ lives. Yet doctors ignored his theory and the proof and continued in the manner in which they had been. Instead of being saluted for his discovery and the solution to the problem he was insulted and eventually dismissed from the hospital. At that time there were many and seemingly powerful theories for childbed fever. One belief was that it was the air in the hospitals, that the bacteria in the air was what was killing people. Unfortunately because he was very stubborn and unwilling to acknowledge that anyone else could be right he was outcast. He harangued people about washing their hands; he stood by the sink and made people wash. “Semmelweis was a genius, be he was also a lunatic, and that made him a failed genius (208).”
Another theme in the essay the way we are trying to overcome this spreading of disease. There has been a proper hand washing procedure, we have introduced alcohol rinses and gels to make it easier because they take less time and allow doctors to keep to their busy schedule. These are more effective than hand washing because they are more effective when the concentration goes above 50 percent. But surprisingly enough pure alcohol isn’t more effective than 50 percent. Water is still needed to remove the micro bacterial proteins. There have been protests against this from unwarranted fears of creating noxious air, it doesn’t.

But one major theme would be in the operating rooms, where nothing less than 100 percent compliance with scrubbing is acceptable. This is where infections can be developed the easiest. This setting needs to applied everywhere in the hospital, not just the operating room. The problem with this is not ignorance, people are aware of this and how to prevent further spread of diseases. It’s the fact that people aren’t complying. It has been shown that those who comply within the operating room are the very ones who don’t comply outside of those big double doors. This is a problem that needs fixed all over America. Hospitals are the dirtiest place in America

On Washing Hands

The most powerful and unsettling statement in the essay, “On Washing Hands”, written by Atul Gawande is the sentence “no part of the human skin is spared from bacteria”. It is startling to know that so many bacterial counts can show up on your skin, especially on your hands and in hair on parts of your body. Bacterial counts on the hands vary from “five thousand to five million colony forming units per square meter”. It makes sense though since we use our hands for many different purposes throughout the day.
Alcohol rinses and gels have been recently introduced to help cut down on the amount of hand washing. If you wash your hands to much it can cause your hands to dry out and harbor bacteria on them. This defeats the whole purpose of washing your hands. Alcohol rinses and gels are much quicker than washing your hands with soap and water as well. This helps to cut down on the amount of time that company’s staff needs to go and actually wash their hands with soap and water. If people take the time to use the different methods to clean their hands, we can cut down on the bacterial counts. The statement, “no part of the human skin is spared from bacteria” can also not sound so negative.

Nelson Mandel, The End of Apartheid

The most powerful idea in Nelson Mandela’s Nobel Peace Prize speech is “the normal condition for human existence is democracy, justice, peace, non-racism, non-sexism, prosperity for everybody, a healthy environment and equality and solidarity among the peoples.”
Nelson Mandela’s speech is very powerful, explaining the wrongs of racism, the problems that arise with it, and all the things that could be so much better if it wasn’t there in the first place. It tells of the people that would be so much better off and able to live up to their potential, because they would no longer be bound to being called “the wretched of the earth.”
His speech also tells of the people that have made sacrifices for the effort, risking their very lives to help people in need, people who they did not even know, but felt compelled to take a responsibility for. Mandela makes sure that he does not take full credit for the accomplishment on his own, and he mentions everyone, be it singular people or groups of people that contributed toward his cause and success.
Once again, the most powerful idea in Mandela’s speech is that humankind should devote themselves to living with democracy, justice, peace, non-racism, non-sexism, prosperity for everybody, a healthy environment and equality and solidarity among the peoples.

A tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people

To have the courage to stand up and call the King of England who was one of the most powerful men in the world at that time, a tyrant, took serious audacity and bravery on the part of the founding fathers. Not only standing up to the king, but also including the entire nation in a decision to absolve its ties with English put the lives of all Americans at that time in danger. The best line of the passage is, “a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people” because it best summarizes the purpose of this piece. Today, I think that we have forgotten the risk the new country took to do what was right. As a result, our society may in fact be more hesitant and scared of change than our founders. Some themes that should be learned from this declaration of independence are that doing what is right takes strength, unity and heroism on the part of all citizens for the good of one another. It should be remembered that this short statement by the leaders of the new world sparked a revolution and gave birth to this great nation today.

The Boldest Writing of All Time

The Declaration of Independence is one of the boldest writings of all time. Written to the King of Great Britain, this letter makes a firm stance on the beliefs of America’s fore fathers. In this declaration to the most powerful country of the 18th century, there are a few themes and points the writer, as well as the signers, give.
The first theme this essay gives is their right. Not just their right as countrymen, but their right as a human being. “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of People to alter or to abolish it.” Their RIGHT to abolish and break from an oppressive government is the first stance this essay takes.
The second point these fore fathers bring up is the abuse they have suffered with the King. Notice here how they singled out the king, not the government as a whole. I could only imagine the look on his face when he read this letter! Sentence after sentence and paragraph after paragraph, they continue to list all the offenses he has made toward them.
Both final and critical is this last theme in this declaration. Here they officially declare themselves apart from Britain and now the “Representatives of the United States of America.” The men knew the grave danger and trouble they would be in for such a position as this by declaring that they would pledge each others’ lives for one another. This is one of the boldest if not they boldest writing of all time.

On Washing Hands

In the essay, On Washing hands, this essay makes it clear how vital it is for anyone, and especially so with doctors, to wash their hands. The idea that washing one’s hands significantly decreases ones chance of contracting a disease is certainly no mystery. In fact, as it says in the essay, “This is, embarrassingly, nothing new. In 1847, at the age of twenty-eight, the Viennese obstetrician Ignac Semmelweis famously deduced that, by not washing their hands consistently or well enough, doctors themselves were to blame for childbed fever.” During this time, childbed fever was the leading cause of maternal death in childbirth which also, as the essay states, was responsible for at least twenty percent of maternal deaths at hospitals. Shockingly, only one percent of mothers who delivered their children at home died at all. This was so because doctors transferred germs between patients, whereas at home no such thing could take place. One would think that this would lead to change in doctor’s practices however no such change took place for a very long time. As it says in this essay the patient who died from the MRSA and VRE infection after an operation, got said infection in the first place because the doctors failed to wash their hands after they had been around all the other patients with MRSA and VRE. It is important for everyone to wash their hands, but it is critical for doctors to do so.

Kofi Annan

One essay that caught my attention is The United Nations in the 21st Century (2001) by Kofi Annan. The most powerful theme in this essay is peace and how leaders and people of different cultutres, religion, and wealth status could all come together for the greater community and pursue peace in the world. In the essay, paragraph fourteen, Annan talked about how in every scripture or all of the faiths that people have encouraged peace and tolerance among each other. One qoute that stood out the most to me in this essay is, “people of different religions and cultures live side by side in almost every part of the world, and most of us have overlapping indentities which uniteus with every different group.” “We can love what we are, without hating what and who were are not.”Another theme that is very important in this essay is the arrogance and thirst for power in certain nations that leads up to the deaths of millions of people which

Listen to Dr. Atul Gawande and Wash Your Hands!

The most powerful and unsettling idea in Atul Gawande’s essay “On Washing Hands” is “…when I stood there looking at the sign on his door, it occurred to me that I might have given him that infection” (212), because this sentence prove the whole essays theme and issue that doctors and hospitals, even though they are meant to be a clean and sanitary environment, do not follow the rules of keeping themselves always sanitary before coming in contact with patients. This essay describe the problem that medical physicians, nurses, even doctors fail to accommodate the rule that is to wash their hands. Even the author of the essay, Gawande, informs the reader that he has been careless himself as a doctor and forgotten to clean his hands while dealing with patients. “…and I completely forget to about getting a squirt of that gel into my palms, no matter how many laminated reminder signs have been hung on the walls” (211).
This is incredibly hard to think about since I volunteer at a hospital every Friday. I know that I am just a volunteer, but I cannot even count the number of times I put my hands under a gel dispenser, not only for the patient’s sake, but also mine! A hospital is meant to be a safe place to get well, but this essay informs the public otherwise explaining how infections due to unsanitary objects, tools, and hands are in contact with these patients. Some infected that are spread are most likely Staphylococcus, Enterococcus, MRSA, and VRE. There are many other bacterial infections that can be spread but these are rather serious do the fact that they are resistant to any type of treatment making it harder to get rid of the devastating effects.
Another scary thing to think about, are the numbers of deaths caused by these infections back when doctors did not even realize that cleanliness mattered. “Out of 3,000 mothers who delivered babies…600 or more died…” (207). this happened back in 1847 when Childbed Fever was a huge cause of birth fatalities. Even though the obstetrician Ignac Semmelweis seemed slightly crazy, without his theory about keeping clean while dealing with patients, the number of deaths in hospitals never would have decreased. Unsanitary business would still continue today. Although doctors and those who work in hospitals today do keep much cleaner than 100 years ago, they still forget that simple rule that is so incredibly important yet so easy to forget: washing hands.
Another important thing to remember is that doctors are just human. It is not easy to believe that they would put their patients in harm’s way, or that the one place where a person can actually get well after surviving surgery or an illness, is actually at risk for getting an infection. But it is easy to remember that they try, and they now actually do keep clean, and that sometimes, people are just unlucky.
Dr. Atul Gawande finished his essay with a very important sentence to inform those to remember it is necessary to wash our hands especially in a hospital—it is their job. “…when I stood there looking at the sign on his door, it occurred to me that I might have given him that infection” (212).

Dr. Atul Gawande

The Declaration of Independence

As far as a piece of writing that defines Freedom goes, The Declaration of Independence is by far the best example out there. As many of us know, the Declaration of Independence was a point in history in which The United States finally broke away from England’s rule and became known as independent. The entire essay boasts the necessity for freedom and how important it is in making a step forward in history. Jefferson constantly attacks his readers by starting sentences with words such as, “He.” A line however, that I feel describes the entire piece is, “They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.” This I found to be a very powerful statement as it describes how we have been crying out to England to release us, and now that the time has finally come, we will indeed make our separation by any means necessary. We realize that we will still be enemies in many issues to come, but we will never be anything other than humans who all seek the same justice. As far as a piece of writing that defines Freedom goes, The Declaration of Independence is by far the best example out there.

Frederik Willem de Klerk, Reformation and Reconciliation in South Africa

The most powerful and unsetting idea in de Klerk’s speech about the Noble Peace Prize is the struggle that de Klerk and Mr. Mandela will go through to help bring peace and stability to South Africa. In this speech de Klerk is accepting the Noble Peace Prize award with Nelson Mandela. He talks about how him and Mandela will fight in the election campaign against one another. He talks about his goals to change South Africa. “It will not be about apartheid or armed struggle. It will be about future peace and stability, about progress and prosperity, about nation building.” This shows how strong of a person that de Klerk is and how he will stop at nothing until his nation of South Africa is changed for the better. The most powerful and unsetting idea in de Klerk’s speech on the Noble Peace Prize is the struggle that de Klerk and Mr. Mandela will go through to help bring peace and stability to South Africa.

The Decleration of Independence

While reading “The Decleration of Independence” the most powerful themes are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This reason being is because they are the right of every human being and it is the governments job to secure these rights for the people. It’s a powerful peace because when this was written it included every human not just the ones writing it. They wanted to make every one happy and wanted everyone to be equal which is stated in the first few paragraphs. In paragraph 2 it states, “That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government.” The great thing about America is everyone can have a dream and live it, there is no one that can hold you back from accomplishing it. Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are the 3 greatest things a person can have in America, and with those things you are able to achieve anything.

The Truth About Beauty

In Virginia Postrel’s essay, “The Truth About Beauty,” the most important theme is the understanding that beauty should be accepted for what it is as opposed to how it is perceived, with some people having more of it than others. Postrel speaks of the Dove beauty commercials and how they are working to make every woman feel beautiful just the way she is, but understands that some people are just more appeasing to look at than others. The author says it must be understood that there is nothing wrong with how, “our eyes and our brains pretty consistently like some human forms better than others. She instead says people should understand their own shortcomings and strengths rather than being so worried about making everyone feel beautiful. The idea of beauty is purely physiological and, “features we see as beautiful…have been rewarded through countless generations of competition for mates.”

If beauty is simply what human instincts dictate will help continue the human race, then Postrel is correct in saying that not everyone has to worry about being beautiful. It would be impossible to do for some people, because some of the features that define beauty are unable to be fixed, such as symmetry and age. Postrel understands that, “like the rest of the genetic lottery, beauty is unfair. Everyone falls short of perfection, but some are luckier than others”. With a push toward understanding strengths and weaknesses, humans can better understand beauty and perhaps not place as much importance in it. The most important theme is accepting beauty as it is, not as the media portrays it.

- The Declaration of Independence -

The most powerful and meaningful statement in the Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson, is “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

This remains as one of the most power quotes to our nation’s history in the sense that it lists the rights that are given to everyone, those being, Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

Life meaning that everyone has the chance to live and make something for themselves. Liberty meaning that everyone would be granted freedom. The pursuit of happiness meaning that everyone has the chances, opportunities, to make things better and always strive for the best.

To show how important they are, notice how certain words are capitalized, showing its’ distinct importance. We should always remember that these remain as our God-given rights, and are different as opposed to “privileges” that can be promised.

Its context has been interpreted throughout history, and sometimes its full meaning called into question. Considering the historical context, it remains questionable as to who exactly these rights have applied to. Its’ meaning is still important today, and it remains as a powerful message to American history.

To reiterate, the most powerful and meaningful statement in the Declaration of Independence is where the civil liberties are directly stated, those being Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

"The End of Apartheid": Nelson Mandela Nobel Prize Speech

In the essay, "Nelson Mandela, the End of Apartheid", the main theme seems to be rebirth. Mandela is describing a new Africa, and a 'new dawn' in for its people. Its most powerful and gratifing idea is in his closing statement when he says, "Let the Efforts of us all prove that he was not a mere dreamer when he spoke of the beauty of genuine brotherhood and peace being more precoius than diamonds or silver or gold. Let a new age dawn!"(P.36-37 Pg.-633). This speech was after a groundbreaking politcal agreement between South African Deputy President F.W. de Klerk and Mandela, and this excerpt helps shed light onto how hopeful Africa and its leaders are for its future. Prevoiusly the country had endured a unique and painful experience that lacked democracy, peace, justice, prosperity, and good health care all while facing prejudice racial and sexually. These two leaders tackled the issues of Africa together rather than on different fronts, in order to preserve the inalienable rights that each group was infringing on. "Because of their courage and persistance for many years, we can, today, even set the dates when all humanity will join together to celebrate one of the outstanding human victories of our century" (IP-1, Pg. 630). This is a powerful step forward in African history,

beauty is NOT in the eye of the beholder

Though not everyone has an exact likeness in their perception of beauty, there is beautiful and there is ugly; this truth is affirmed throughout Virgina Postrel's The Truth About Beauty. This piece considers cosmetic companies selling "hope in a jar" as opposed to the new campaign from Dove that promotes "real beauty".

Dove's aspiration with this campaign is that women will see that beauty is the child of media and that they will ignore their imperfections, instead finding the beauty in who they are as individuals. The satire in this is that this campaign is coupled with the selling of creams, self-tanners, hair conditioners, and other Dove products. A line can be found on Dove's web site that suggests girls feel beautiful just the way they are, but Postrel explains, "Every girl certainly wants to, which explains the popularity of Dove's campaign. There's only one problem: Beauty exists, and it's unevenly distributed."

We, as human beings, have a preconceived notion of what beauty is, regardless of media or other influence. Certain shapes and features are simply more asthetically pleasing to us. We are biologically programmed to perceive things like good skin and symmetry as beautiful and beneficial in such things as finding a mate. Again Postrel says of beauty: "We know beauty when we see it, and our reactions are remarkably consistent. Beauty is not just a social construct, and not every girl is beautiful just they way she is." If this was true, there would be no need for Dove's "real beauty" campaign and there would most certainly be no reason for Dove's products.

Dove claims to use "normal" and "real" women in their ads, an almost Average Joanna, but while they do not find size 00 supermodels, they find younger women, with feminine features, great skin, and not too undesirable figures. Just because they are choosing women who may not be a typical model in an ad, they are using women who would still be considered pretty and have many attractive traits. Not only were they not ugly girls, but they had been made up with many of the very beauty products renderred unnecessary by Dove's own campaign. Though not everyone has an exact likeness in their perception of beauty, there is beautiful and there is ugly; this is affirmed throughout Virginia Postrel's The Truth About Beauty.

The United Nations in the 21st Century

The most powerful and unsetting idea in Kofi Annan Nobel Peace Prize speech is in the beginning when he talks about the United Nations forum being created and what it is. His whole speech is powerful and he backs up every argument.
In paragraph 6 he discusses his beliefs and the mission of the United Nations, but one part stuck out the most to me, " We must focus, as never before, on improving the conditions of the individual men and women who give the state or nation its richness character" I think it is powerful and gets to the point. He compares this century to the last century, which helps his arguments and shows us we need to make a change.

on washing hands

The most disturbing and gross statement in Atul Gawande's essay is that"we doctors and nurses wash our hands one-third to one-half as often as we are supposed to" because it shows you that germs are being spread more easily due to someone's laziness and/or unwillingness to wash their hands. While I was reading this essay I was really grossed out by this. I was thinking about it and imagine all of the things and people they touch and what kind of germs and virusus are lerking on them, it is now possible that you could have it because the hospital staff isnt washing their hands like they ought to be. My major is nursing and this essay really makes me want to be rigorous about washing my hands when i get into the hospital setting because I dont want to be the one to give someone who has a low immune system a virus or something like that and get them very ill. I think they all need to think about the consequences of not washing thier hands because they probably have gotten a few people ill that way and it could have been avoided. One other thing that this essay made me think of (little off track)is people who work in fast food establishments or restuarants and the washing of their hands. They probably lack in washing more than the hospital staff and are spreading germs and virus just as bad. It is gross to think of but how are you going to know that they actually washed thier hands before visiting you. Thankfully though the use of hand sanitizer is higher despite all of the controversies they had with it in the beginning (worries of fertility reduction for example. "We have gone so far as to add an extra person to the team, known as the circulating nurse, who central jos is, essentailly, to keep the team of antisepsis." This makes me feel better that they are working towards better cleanliness.

Exploration 9

The most powerful theme or idea in Nelson Mandela's speech is happiness. In his speech Mandela's says, "This reward will not be measured in money. Nor can it be reckoned in the collective price of the rare metals and precious stones that rest in the bowels of the African soil we tread in the footsteps of our ancestors. It will and must be measured in the happiness and welfare of the children, at once the most vulnerable citizens in any society and the greatest of our treasures." I feel that this is the most powerful theme of the speech because his entire speech was based on the happiness and welfare of the citizens in Africa. He wanted everyone to live in peace with no burdens of their past, and he felt that the only way this reward could be measured was by the happiness and welfare of the citizens.

On Washing Hands

The most influencial sentence in the essay "On Washing Hands' would be ,"Each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, two million Americans acquire an infection while they are in the hospital. Ninety thousand die of that infection". Being a main theme of "Washing your hands". The quote provided clearly shows that not enough people are washing there hands. It is not something that takes long to do, and if done properly then we would be able to wipe out a few diseases or lessen the amount of others as well. Washing hands is something they teach you to do in elemtary school, where they require kids to fallow specific rules as to how to wash them and signs on the walls with step by step directions. As people get older, they feel that they do not need to wash them as often or that they are not the "people" who spread the diseases from coming in contact with others. I think this essay is accurate as to why a lot of diseases are spread, becauase I personally always watch as people leave the restroom without washing their hands, or sneeze and cough in their own hands too. It disgusts me when people have the time to wash their hands, they just don't. It is becomming more and more important these days, because of the statistics of airborne and contact diseases. If anything, people need to use sanitation gels or other hand products because after thinking of every thing we would touch in one single day, it's a nightmare as to what you catch daily. People just need to start washing their hands more and taking more hygiene procautions to become healthier and keep the world around them healthy as well. 2 million Americans could be cut in half or even eliminated, and ninety thousand deaths could be prevented because of a simple 2 minute routine squeezed in to your busy schedule. It is important to remember and could help save peoples lives, so just do it already.

Declaration of Independence

The most powerful and unsettling idea in Thomas Jefferson's Declaration on Independence is the idea that whenever any Form of Government becomes irate and distructive that we the people have the right to change and abolish it, and start a new government, because that right there can be so extreme at any point that when we the people ever find our government wrong we can over throw it and start a new goverment.

Ever since I was little and went to Philadelphia to learn about our nations rich history and learned about our Declaration of Independence I have always believed the beginning of the second paragraph is so strong and tells America who we are and what cannont ever be taken away. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." because that part of the speech Thomas Jefferson wrote all summed up in the most powerful way how everyone is created equal with rights that shall never be taken away.
Thomas Jefferson's most power part of the Declaration of Independence was the statement that whenever any Form of Government becomes irate and distructive that we the people have the right to change and abolish it, and start a new government, because that right there can be so extreme at any point that when we the people ever find our government wrong we can over throw it and start a new goverment.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ain't Scared of Your Jails

In the documentary Ain't Scared of Your Jails we hear of many of the hardships of the Civil Rights movement as well as of some accounts from those who experienced it first hand. What stood out to me most when I watched this video was that the mobs and protests against the African Americans' non-violent direct actions were more disruptive and dangerous than the actual segregation protests themselves. They were so well organized and so well taught that regardless of the violence that faced them as they freedom-rode or sat-in they were able to obtain their desired reactions and responses through passive behavior. The police did nothing to assist them regardless the beatings (both phyical and verbal) and eventually took it a step further by arresting them. I don't know that I would have been able to deal with the hatred that they saw each and every day with the same grace that they posessed throughout the protests, but I think that this may have been why they were ultimately so successful.

I loved the part where Diane Nash told us of the waves of students at the sit-ins. When the police had decided to arrest the protestors, another wave would go sit down. Wave after wave, there was always someone there sitting in the seats at the lunch counter, further making their point. The bravery that these young people showed in such hard times truly makes them heroes. They were willing to risk such serious punishment for the greater good. As was mentioned in the movie, most didn't take the protests too seriously in the beginning but through their persistence and rather small actions, like sitting in a seat, they were able to help accomplish something huge.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ain't Scare of Your jails

Ain’t scared of your jails was a powerful and very touching documentary. There were lot things in this movie that caught my attentions. One that stood out the most was the freedom riders. The freedom riders were interracial group students that came together to end segregation in interstates buses. These students were willing to end segregation even though their lives were at risk. They got beaten up and hurt numerous times but yet they weren’t retaliating. In my opinion I felt the issues and problems that the African American students were facing was a horrific story. One other thing that stood out me was sit-ins in lunch counters which the students will sit even though they were told to leave. They stood up for their rights and didn’t let segregation get in the way of what they stood for. “I never lived with or associated with black people and am not about to start now” this quote was by a white male in the beginning of the documentary it stood out to me because it showed how racist some people were back then.

The most powerful part of the video “Ain’t scared of your jails”, was the story told by Fredrick Leonard at the very end of the documentary in my opinion. His story was about how “peewee” a black inmate was forced by the guards to beat up Leonard because he would not give up his mattress. The inhumanity of this situation extents to both individuals; to Leonard because he does not want to sleep on the cold steel again, and to peewee because he does not want to harm Leonard just for not giving up his mattress. Instances like these and others throughout the movie were really the backbone of the non-violent African American movement for equality in the south during the 1960’s. Without the individual effort of all those students to remain non-violent and still break the segregation laws, change would have been slow or non-existent in the south. The video shows that change did not come about rapidly, however it showed itself through milestones. One such milestone was when mayor Ben West of Nashville was asked the following question by Diane Nash, "First of all, Mayor West, do you feel that it's wrong to discriminate against a person solely on the basis of his race or color?" to which he replied, “I could not agree that it was morally right for someone to sell them merchandise and refuse them service.” This break-through by a politician for the first time allowed blacks to sit at lunch counters in the south.

Response To "Ain't Scared of Your Jails."

Documentaries are just short stories of past events. They give us a view from a specific event that we did not possess. It is there that we find the true feelings behind how the events actually affected people’s lives. As it is only through people who experience the event first hand, that we are able to make our true conclusion of what really happened.
In the documentary Ain’t scare of you jails we see an in depth look at the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. The documentary showed me that people did truly care about what happened to those around them. For the longest time I wondered why none of the white Americans would stand up for something as simple a different skin color. It made me think about what I might do, and I would probably have been too scared to, but this is part of what affected people into making these poor decisions. One quote however, that stuck out to me was, “Be cool Mother.” These were the first words to come out of a protesting African American in the sit-ins movement. He continued to tell his mother that he was in jail for something he believed was right. This is something I believe we should all live by. As it is not a matter of what happens to you, because if you are doing something to defend what you believe is truly right, then you will never be ashamed.

Ain't Scared of Your Jails

Ain't Scared of Your Jails was a movie about attempting desegregation in Nashville, Tennessee. A group of black students performed various protests against segregation. One such protest was the Sit-in. They all sat down at the counters, and continued to sit even while the lunch counters were shut down.
"When they arrested the students, the second wave came and sat down." This was impressive. I was pretty surprised at how many people they had supporting their cause. I was also surprised with the amount of white students were also supporting the protests. And even when they were beat, they didn't falter, they kept fighting for what they believed in.

Ain't Scared of your Jails

After watching the film, Ain’t Scared of your Jails, I have a lot more insight to the problem of segregation. Before watching the film, I had never really known much about segregation. In high school we never went as in depth as the movie did. The freedom riders stood out the most to me. Seeing the types of violence that went on towards the bus passengers was pretty horrific. It was not only towards the blacks either. Whites would beat up on other white people also, just because they were associated and helping the blacks. A quote from the movie I picked out is when a young man is talking to his worried mother on the telephone, all he can say is “be cool momma, be cool”. I am sure it was very tough for her to just be cool, knowing that her son could end up either hurt or dead.

I wasn't raised with them and don't plan to start now."

Even though I have seen and read many books and movies on civil rights from the 1960's, I found Ain't Scared of your Jails a very interesting . The documentry showed alot of different viewpionts of policemen and white civil right activist. Many don't realize there was almost as many white americans who were aganist as there were with fighting for civil rights for African Americans. The quote, " I wasn't raised with them and don't plan to start now." from a white man against who clearly was against the idea showed that many just didn't believe in change and wanted everything to be conservative and status quo. I also thought much more of JFK and did not know how much he helped push civil rights. He took a huge gamble in his presidency by getting involved but did it for the best.

Aint Scared Of Your Jails

I have been exposed to the civil rights movement multiple times before, but none quite as powerful as the documentary Ain't Scared Of Your Jails. It displays a firsthand encounter of racism in the upper-south of Nashville, Tennessee. All aspects of the turmultuous civil rights movement were explored. I was surprised by the immense footage that seemed to chronologically place us as viewers throughout the process. Essentially, we were right there on the bus and right there in the church the along with the oppressed. I feel like I experienced the same oppression as them even though it was generations and decades ago. The most powerful moment in the whole film is when "pee-wee" is beating one of the bus riders with tears in his eyes. "You know how your parents used to discipline you and say, this will hurt me more than you? It hurt pee-wee more than it hurt me." That statement sums up the power behind the movement.

Eyes on the Prize

The documentary "Ain't Scared of Your Jails" really makes the struggle hit home. Many historically significant figures of the civil rights movement were interviewed in the documentary, it gives a really in-depth look as to what the African Americans were fighting for. What interested me the most was the non-violent direct action taken by the African Americans. During this time, blacks were not allowed to sit at certain lunch counters that were reserved for white people. These black students sat at a white lunch counter and refused to leave. This sit-in was a direct challenge to southern tradition. Trained in non-violence, the students refused to fight back and later were arrested by Nashville police. The students were drawn to activist Jim Lossen and his workshops of non-violence. The non-violent workshops were training on how to practice non-violent protests. If the African Americans didn't have their "Eyes on the Prize" I don't beleive it would've been possible for them to withstand such violence against them without retaliating. Violence is an unjust and unwarranted exertion of force or power. “Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.” -M.L.K.

Eyes on the Price

Eyes on the Price

Nashville, Tennessee the Athens of the South, a city with of rich progressive tradition, a center for the arts and education, but freedom for all is a precious and valuable principle that African Americans were deprived of. Nashville was still under the oppression of segregation, all public service was divided by the discrimination of color, and sings designated places for whites and blacks. Society accepted the inept concept and logo in which the country lived under “separate but equal”. Nashville had four black colleges which attracted students from all over the country. Jim Lawson and other ministers coordinated nonviolent work shops in order to organize students to take non violent step towards freedom. These work shops were strikingly impressive, students were prepared to take blows ‘and still respond with some kind of dignity’. It was a strong and bold step towards liberation. This step which may have seemed small evolved into a scale of events that would soon play a major part in the freedom of African Americans. Soon thereafter the African American society began to back up the students in a struggle which they were all partakers of.
It seemed almost irrational that for the sake of ‘law and order’ many people were against a movement that was none violent; despite thought many viewed these freedom pursuers as agitators and disturbers of peace. The step taken by the students and freedom riders was a catalyst for a change that could not wait any longer. One of the most memorable facts of the of the civil rights movement that is portrayed in the documentary is that young, old, women and men joined together to obtain a common precious goal. Regardless of the circumstances imprisonments, bombings, beatings they worked under the wings of none violence. Chanting and singing in jail and demanding the rights that were guaranteed for them also under the constitution, they chased freedom till ‘Alabama is going to face the fact that we are determined to be free’ (Martin Luther King).

Monday, November 2, 2009

Never Scared

While watching this documentary a lot of things came to my mind. I truly admire how noble the freedom riders and other supporters were in any situation. What stood out to me the most was how non violent they all were, also what really stood out to me was the determination and dedication to support the freedom they were fighting for. They would take beatings after beatings nearly everyday just to prove a point. This particular type of courage is extremely rare in todays society. An example of a situation that proves how brave they were was when they pulled up to a bus station........ "And then all of a sudden, just like magic. White people, sticks and bricks, they're going, "Kill the niggers." We were still on the bus, you know? But I think we're all kind of deciding, "Well, maybe we should go off the back of this bus." Because we kind of knew that if we had gone off the back of the bus, then maybe they wouldn't be so bad on us. They wanted us to go off the back of the bus. And we decided no, no, we'll go off the front and take what's coming to us." This just goes to show how bad they desired freedom and how they worked hard just to prove there point.

Ain't Scared

After watching the film Ain't Scared of your Jails it really gave you a feel for how evil and vicious people were back then and how wrong they treated color people over the littlest things. The thing that stood out to me the most was how the people involved in the sit-ins or the freedom rides had such a tolerance for harrassment, in any situation they never fought back it just amazed me how they always remained no violent. They were very smart about standing up for their race, like when they boycotted all of the down town area to show how much the whites would be efftected with out them.
Kennedy was also a big supporter of what MLK jr. and the freedoms riders were apart of. After MLK jr. was in jail Kennedy called Mrs. King to express sympathy based on what happened to her husband. He worked extremely hard for equal rights, when he found out that their were no people that wanted to drive the freedom riders on the bus he asked "where is Mr. Grey Hound? Cant he drive a bus?" It just demonstrates his commitment to make equal rights for every race possible.

An Insight Into Civil Rights

To hear several prominent figures from the Civil Right Era speak in the documentary "Ain't Scared of Your Jails" was a powerful experience for me. The film gave an in depth look at the actions of African Americans fighting for equal rights. What was most fascinating to me was the excitement that the students experienced as that stepped into unknown territory. John Lewis compares the experience to "being part of the Holy Crusade", and Diane Nash has a certain twinkle in her eyes as she recounts her days. The African Americans would often not know what might happen to them, whether they get beaten or arrested, and yet they continued to fight for what they believed in.
Also interesting was the views of some of the white people featured in the documentary. They all had invalid reasons for keeping the city segregated like it would somehow harm them or their family. When asked, however, Mayor Ben West says that he, "could not agree that it was morally right" to continue segregation. Though many people disagreed with what was going on, they still did not do anything, preferring to sit at home than stand up and be heard.
Aint Scared of Your Jails was a very good and interesting movie. It taught the very realistic side of how people were very racist and treated others very poorly. The truth behind it is quite sad and the fact that we still have people like that today is upsetting. In the beginning when a man says, "I wasn't raised with them and don't plan to start now." He is referring to colored people and how he would not get to know them. People would yell, "Nigger!" and being that it is a very racial term, it was offending to many people but they were not able to stop them from yelling it. When blacks would want to be served and the resturaunts would deny them service or say they were closed when they clearly were open. This movie had alot of factual statements and was easy to understand and to get a good look at how cruel people can truely be.

- Ain’t Scared of your Jails -

Ain’t Scared of your Jails was an insightful look into various accounts of eyewitnesses to the Civil Rights movement. There were several things that stood out to me in the documentary.

One was how blacks discovered that the youth could be used to their advantage in these situations. Often times, many would be arrested on charges of failing to comply with the segregation laws or disorderly conduct. Many were sent to jail, and gladly accepted this, as they were firm in their beliefs and what they stood for.

The concept of the sit-ins started in college, with students practicing to get prepared for what all they would face. They need to be disciplined and yet have the endurance to carry on during shoutings and beatings.

Another concept that was used was to simply cut off the city’s revenue by halting their purchases. The black community was at the same level as the white community, fiscally, with taxes and their disposable income. They figured if they could halt their strong buying power, that it would have some effect on the city’s fiscal structure, due to the fact of less revenue. Nearly a month later, this proved effective.

The "Freedom Rides" were also an important factor in showing how both races strived for equality. Listening to the accounts of those who took part in the "Freedom Rides" were interesting in the sense that it showed their sheer determination, fortitude, and unbreakable will. "Segregation must be stopped. It must be broken down. We’re dedicated and willing to accept death," to quote on of the many Freedom Riders. All in all, good documentary.

Aint scared of your jails

I found this documentary to be very interesting. I have researched about the events of Birmingham, Alabama before in high school and this documentary went even more in depth of what actually happened. The the thing that stood out to me the most was how strong the passion was of the young students during the sit-ins and resisting from violence when they were being beaten. That stood out to me the most because I know if i was in there shoes in that situation i dont think I would be able to handle being beaten and not fighting back. Another thing that stood out to me was the help that they recieved from Martin Luther King. MLK is one of my all-time heroes for what he has done for people in the world. With myself being an african american I wouldnt be where i am today without the actions of Martin Luther King. A quote that stood out to me in the film was that of one of the students named Fredrick Leonard. Somebody told him maybe we should go off the back of the bus and he said "No we are going off the front adn take whats coming to us." I just thought that that statement right there just showed the courage and strenght that these young men and women had during those tough times.

Ain't scared of your jails

Ain't scared of your jails was a very moving and thought provoking film to me. As remember learning of the civil rights movement as far back as in the 4th grade, but I never really was able to see the atrocities and the struggles that went on during the movement until I watched this film. The things that went on in that dark chapter of our history were horrifying and it was only worse 1st hand. What stuck out the most in the film in my mind was the part about the "freedom rides" and the public's response to them. The "freedom rides" were a series of protests against the segregation in the south. On these rides, blacks would sit in the front and whites would sit in the back, and when they would stop at rest stops the white people would use the black facilities and the back would use the white facilities. James Farmer, a freedom rider, described the idea of the protest like this: "We decided the way to do it was to have a group, an interracial group, ride through the South. This was not civil disobedience, really, because we would be doing merely what the Supreme Court said we had a right to do. The whites in the group would sit in the back of the bus, the blacks would sit in the front of the bus and would refuse to move when ordered. At every rest stop, the whites would go into the waiting room for blacks, and the blacks into the waiting room for whites and would seek to use all the facilities, refusing to leave. And we felt that we could then count upon the racists of the South to create a crisis so that the federal government would be compelled to enforce federal law. And that was the rationale for the Freedom Ride." The deeper the freedom riders rode into the south, the harsher the southern rioters meeting the non-violent freedom riders would be. The actions committed by the rioters were horrifying but, I am glad I was able to see the film as turning a blind eye to the past would be a dishonor to those who made such great sacrifices back then so our society could progress to where it is today.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Ain't Scared of your Jails

Ain't Scared of your Jails was a powerful and moving film. I learned a lot more about the students movements during the civil rights years. One that stood out to me the most was the freedom riders. I couldn't image the thoughts and emotions they were all going through. There was a scene with a white male from the secondgroup of the freedom riders named Jim Zwerg.
The photo is the scene when
he's in a hospital after he was injured from being the first person to walk off the bus. He said at one point, " we're dedicated to this, we'll take the hitting, we'll take the beating. we're willing to accept death." I thought this was an important part of the film because it showed how brave these freedom riders were. Also, the fact that Jim Zwerg was a white male and this shocked everyone and the focus was more on him when he was the first off that bus. I think this had an impact on others, like Fredrick Leonard in the film said "He had a lot of nerve. And i think that's what saved me." I really enjoyed this film, it was powerful and just shows how far we have come.