Kindergarten as Academic Boot Camp; Gracey

Skeletons don’t live in the closet; they live in your elementary school files.

Emile Durkheim defined education as an action carried out by the older generation in relation to those who are not yet ready for social life, while its main tasks are: to awaken and develop in the child the physical, intellectual and moral qualities that will be needed for himself, so and society as a whole. Actions to develop these qualities (socialization of a new generation) occur in all types of societies, but they acquire specific forms in each individual case depending on the characteristics of social groups and institutions involved in this process, which implies consideration of education as specialized social action.
According to Gracey, in the article, “Kindergarten as Academic Boot Camp,” primary education is not aimed at providing children with factual information nor to contribute to the development of their creativity, but to educate passive, non-problematic conformists who can easily “integrate” into the existing social order. This method of thinking, or thought training continues throughout the first 12 years of education. Gracey discusses classroom issues and schedules that essentially prepare each student to obey and conform to rules and ways that are, for the most part, opposite of natural, instinctual human behavior. This brings me to today’s class discussion on the purpose of college. After all, it is essentially what kindergarteners are being prepared for if they choose to continue onto higher education.
Originally, as discussed, college was not constructed for the average person across society. Instead, it was create specifically for the elite, the ones who already had money, and were utilizing education as a form of pastime. The Latin root for both school and leisure is identical. Plainly, higher education was created for the elite to lead more interesting and well-rounded lives. Society has grown far from the original purpose, as it is now relying upon as a necessity to function beyond mere survival in our society. The structural functionalists of Sociology are interested in the functions of education and will state that education has several purposes for a thriving society.
First, in order of the manifest functions, it brings a variety of social classes, races and religions together as public schools are designed for social integration. Secondly, in almost an opposition to the first function, education creates social stratification. This defines clear lines and boundaries between where one place should be in the world. It defines hierarchy by having labels the segregate us into levels of abilities and opens or closes doors of opportunities depending solely on how far one has gone on the educational ladder. Therefore, the farther you climb, the more likely you are t have nicer, bigger, better things.
The main difference in the set up of college vs. university, is that one is strictly a transmitter of knowledge where the other is a reached base institution, Universities ar disguised as learning opportunities when in reality, they are built more for the governments and corporations funding them, in order to produce specified information through lifetimes of research. The latent functions for society include a decrease in unemployment, and for children in grades K-12, it provides parents free childcare while they work all day.
Reasons of education for the social conflict theorist, which view all things from equality interests, are that education benefits capitalism in the way that educated people become better and more productive workers, therefore contributing the economy of society. There are also two other main reasons, which tie into Graceys boot camp article in that these reasons begin clearly and purposfully in Kindergarten. There is the hidden curriculum, in which children are taught, without choice or knowledge of opposing views, patriotism and loyalty to country i.e.: government, and the obeying of authority. Kindergarten and elementary school is where we first learn to conform to rules and power of authority that later become necessary to function as a civilian in society. We learn from the beginning so that by the time we get to college and the work force, conforming and obeying feel natural to us. There is also the tracking system throughout an education path in which we start being separated, labeled and put into varying levels of class and intelligence that will create our foundation of where our place is in society. The children in the wealthier groups tend to go further in life based off of the attention they begin receiving from the moment they step into a classroom as a child. This entire system from start to finish automatically sets up societes dynamics and balance for the long run.
This all makes the book, “Everything I Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten” take on a much deeper meaning than just its fun and lighthearted learning experiences.

 

 

Education and Politics

*I’m assuming that the title under 12/6, 11 labeled “School and Voting/Education and Politics” is just a label for the last subject topic. But since I’m not quiet sure if you are wanting a blog on the classroom discussion of 12-11 or not, I instead decided to share an essay of similar content that I wrote earlier this year based a few articles in the book “Re-reading America” and a speech from John Gatto based on public education and the hidden curriculum.

 

Just Do What You’re Told.

The rules are simple. Speak only when asked for your response, even if you have something informative and creative to say, sit where they’ve assigned you to sit, even if you’d flourish or better learn in another area, and memorize what’s been chosen for you to learn, whether you like the subject matter or not, even if you’ll never need to know the information again. Do these things, and you’ll be sure to get the approval stamp as a successful student. The gold star award can be yours at the expense of your gifts, talents, interests, characteristics and unique individuality. The trade off will prepare you for very little in your later life and leave you feeling empty, hollow and unfulfilled inside. But your parents will be so proud!

This is the kind of mental attitude that has created a domino effect of issues in today’s American public education system. With scores, data, and statistics being placed at a much higher value than the actual thriving life of a human being, it is time for us to recognize that our current system does not work for the long-term benefits of mankind. Not simply that it just needs a little tweaking or reforming here and there, nipping and tucking away at the outward appearance of superficial matters, but that it needs a complete overhaul from the inside out, top to bottom, and start to finish. With government programs grasping onto the same old tactics under a new label every 4-8 or at best 16 years, it’s time for America to wake up and demand a change for the mental health of our society. As one becomes more aware of these problems America is facing with the public education system, we realize we must become admittedly aware that we are all included as a part of the problem. Unless one is coming from a homeschooled, alternative background, or a foreign education system, anyone who has come out of the public school system has a role to play in these issues. Of course, for most of our lives, we are oblivious to our roles, but now, as independent responsible adults, with or without children, in or out of the education field, we all have a moral duty to take it upon ourselves to stand up to this never ending downward spiral of humanity. The problems that arise from strict standardized testing, prejudged social class circles that assumes an individual child automatically must stay at that level, trapped in a lifestyle, that he or she may otherwise have had the opportunity to climb out from, and blindly conformed thinking patterns affect our culture far beyond the K-12 school walls. The profiteering of our children who are at times, near complete ignorance by the time they enter society as adults is creating a dumbed down, demoralized and dependent society.

“Today, policy makers think of education solely in terms of its secondary purposes. They speak of children as future global competitors. They sometimes refer to children in rather ugly terms as “human assets,” forgetting they are unique people and they are not fungible.” This quote is not an assumption of an angry parent whose child is being failed by the system. This description of America’s children has been personally observed from Diane Ravitch in her article “The Essentials of an Education” Ed. Rereading America (pp.109). Ravitch has spent decades of her life as an educational historian and past policy analyst, whom, walked away from her former beliefs in standardized testing and linked test outcomes to school funding. Currently she is an author and a research professor at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. Ravitch advocates against the federal policy in which she states, “is obsessed with test-base data” and suggests a more broad and enriched curriculum. Students that are just being passed to the next grade without knowing the material is of little benefit to society in the long run, past mundane jobs and robotically taking orders.

It is necessary for a well-balanced society to move beyond mere memorization, and eagerly grasp onto the growth potential in learning. It is essential to fully recognize the impact of history and how it’s shaped our world today. It is imperative that a hands on experience with science that allows the student to question their surroundings and open up ideas of possibilities beyond their wildest imaginations. Children need the depth and romance of essential Literature, both historical and current, pouring in from every corner of the earth, in order to develop their sense of spirit. With the awareness and instant access to many peoples of many areas, a foreign language can only benefit the child and spark their curiosity to seek life outside of there own neighborhood. Ravitch reminds us that, “All are enriched by the arts, that they are essential for everyone, and life is enhanced by the arts… The arts are a source of joy and self expression…that enables students to express their individuality…”(111).

“The fact is, that these enrichments and foundational needs that are vital to the growth of our society, are being removed from public schools and replaced by lifeless statistics, data and minimal information on pre-packaged subjects in order to keep students from thinking outside the box. This alone should send the public a red flag signal stating that The United States Department of Education is not interested in a self-thriving and critical thinking, capable society. In an article found on Center for Online Education, a point from “Nueroeducation: Learning, Arts, and the Brain,” Johns Hopkins researchers shared findings showing that arts education can help rewire the brain in positive ways. Studies show changes in the brain structure that allows students to better focus their attention and increase their efficiency, improving their overall IQ scores. Removal of these opportunities seem counter productive to their overall agenda since higher scores bring in higher revenue, but the end cost of a well balanced, self sufficient human is not the priority of this multibillion dollar industry that molds their living, breathing products into unaware and numb commodities.

According to the US Census Bureau, these precious commodities cost taxpayers anywhere from $6000 – $18,000 each. That is the budget per student, per year. This averages out to just under $11,000 per student. If the money is not going into a thriving, variety filled education curriculum, where exactly is it going? With the allotment for the kids being blatantly ignored and misused, it is far too often spent on administration buildings and administrators in charge of a system they rarely, if at all, personally take part in. With the budgets being abused and redirected, it is no wonder that teacher strikes and walkouts are steadily on the rise and spreading like wildfire from state to state.

Inside the Huffington Post, Dave Jamison and Travis Waldron posted an article on 4/7/2018, titled “The Red State Teacher Revolt Has Been Brewing for Decades” in which he states the elementary schools in Oklahoma and Kentucky “was dirty and dilapidated. Many of the textbooks were 15 years old. First through third grades lacked a contemporary reading series, and the classrooms didn’t have whiteboards for the teachers to write on.” The schools have been called appalling and the conditions of facilities were labeled as nearly disgusting. Budgets in the red states have slowly but steadily been on the decline since the recession in 2008. Oklahoma, Kentucky, West Virginia, Arizona are all the heels of the Chicago Strike just a few years ago. This time, the strikes are not against management but against legislature. Teachers are demanding more school funding and higher salaries. Not only are these state dealing with fund shortage, but they are dealing with a teacher shortage as well. Some of these areas are taking in unqualified teachers with no formal education, on temporary emergency certifications. In Texas, New Mexico, Alaska and Colorado, teachers are expressing their anger of their pay and funding as well. This should not merely be considered just a “red-sate” issue, but a rapidly growing nationwide issue. This problem belongs to every age, color, race, geographical region, religion, and social status.

Regardless of the teachers losing out on fair pay and decent work environments, no matter how you view it, one thing is for certain; the students are losing out in a multitude of areas. They lose out on the security of rights to their own education, they lose confidence in a in the system to provide a curious environment, conducive for real learning, and they are losing even more interest in even being at school at all, knowing that something they are a part of on a daily basis, is very, very wrong, and they are powerless to do anything about it. They are realizing at far to young of an age that they are devalued, and aren’t worthy of much in the eyes of the very people they should be able to depend on to make moral decisions over their lives. The system of their homeland has failed them. At a time when these children are meant to be flourishing and growing, expanding their minds, building their characters, discovering their unique talents, and being free to express themselves through experiments of exploration, the weight of their world is crashing down and suppressing them even further.

These problems are effecting how students learn and the way teachers teach. We’ve got students that have lost interest in school, and teachers that have lost interest in the system. Their fight is a worthy and necessary cause, but in reality, it just proves they are, themselves, products of the systems ceaseless cycle. If we take a look back through the years, we find that although teacher strikes were rare in the beginning of the 20th century, when they did occur, it was for the exact same issues as schools are having today. Under funding and under paid due to budgets cuts and mismanagement. By 1943, teachers went on strike in 12 states. Again, for monetary reasons. According to the article “A Brief History of Teacher Strikes in the United States” written in 2012 by Bill Lucey and published by “The Morning Delivery”, strikes are not uncommon throughout the decades. Most every one of them is for the same demands.

In order to end the ongoing financial cycle of the system, it is time to focus on the methods of teaching and reasons behind them. With billions of dollars being spent on upgrading materials, only after dramatic and demanding statewide walkouts take place, the US not continue to try and fix the same problems with the same solutions. One solution in this cluster of the multitudes of issues would be to introduce online learning in every single classroom in every single state. This could solve the problems of outdated material and keep the students up to date with real time events and new discoveries from history to science to politics. At the touch of a button, the access to an endless array of learning materials that could potentially be catered to various learning needs. This would allow students to learn visually, aurally, verbally, and logically in both solidarity and social methods all at the same time while response times and feedback are nearly immediate. With this one change, it would allow for more time in the day to explore the physical nature of arts. With all the piled on issues previously mentioned, our old methods and techniques that are boring the students to the point that 25% of them are led to an early drop out, not only is the question of what is taught, but the question of how its taught needs to evolve. Our students need to know they are worthy of modern materials and they deserve to have the same learning opportunities at all socio economic class levels, and are perfectly capable of keeping up with our competitive countries.

Jean Anyon boldly suggests in her own schooling observance experiment, “From Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work” Ed. Rereading America, that there is a hidden curriculum in schoolwork that has profound implications for the theory- and consequence- of everyday activity in education. Her observance of a variety of schools in different economic classes has recorded that each school has different teaching techniques, according to geographical areas and economic class, that trains the child in a way that has already stereo typed him or her. This forms a preconceived, agenda formed society in which some students are made to move up the ladder and others are made to know only enough to keep them as followers without the know how of independent thinking skills. In working class schools, “the children often had no access at all to learning materials” (142) and were trained to just be obedient at all times. Following directions from their leaders with no real learning experience. In the middle class school, “teachers made every effort to control” (143). Regardless of effort or rules, it was more important that the students just got the answers right. Answers, which were already previously given out. If they were unable to memorize a task or solution, regardless of the students understanding or interest of the subject matter, then they were not considered good. In the affluent professional environments, students were encouraged to be expressive and creative, while critical thinking was inspired and supported. There was much more individuality and freedom, therefore creating a positive, happier student. And finally, Anyon describes the Executive Elite system as an environment where students “have a fair amount of official sanctioned say over what happens in class” (148). The children are expected to utilize their own logic and reason with no answer being completely wrong, just another viewpoint. These students are gearing for life success rather that test success and therefore have overall student success rates.

If the education methods and learning tools are evened out across the board, allowing each child the same resources, we could see a positive shift in society in a short matter of time that could only benefit us a whole. Children would be pushed through the system for the mere sake of statistics, leaving them completely unprepared for life. Instead, they could be taught on how to research and how to learn. They could be taught on how to assure information accuracy, question their resources, and dismiss misleading information. They would learn how to think logically and critically, and most importantly, for themselves. As John Gatto puts it in his article “Against School,” Ed. “Rereading America” (121), “we must wake up to what schools truly are: laboratories of experimentation on young minds, drill centers for the habits and attitudes that corporate society demands… its real is to turn them into servants.” But with a system that could shift to fit individual needs, allowing more time for unique talent developments, and removing the statistical stigmas off any one group, the problems of undereducated, unaware, graduates could be nearly eradicated.

Educational oppression and generational cycles that allow our political system to decide our paths and abilities need to be swiftly shifted. Children being allowed to graduate with only basic math and reading skills affect the entire span of society. It leads to higher crime rates due to higher unemployment rates, social conflicts and government dependence. When there are lack of skills readily available as children leave school and are pushed out of homes, companies have no choice but to outsource their employees, leaving these newly independent young adults with no hope and no where to turn. This feeds into an entire economic problem on a nationwide level. Undereducated adults overall have low self worth, guilt for not being able to provide their own children with a better life, they have higher suicide rates, unstable relationships, higher teen pregnancy rate, limited health care and allow for an entirely new level of abusive and misguided political power. The voting percentages of the educated vs., undereducated is a dramatic difference. In an entire educational system of people who have been told what to think, how to think, when to talk, what to say, because their opinions don’t matter, and they are meant to just follow instructions, stirs up a very dangerous concoction with the perfect ingredients for government takeover and dictators to be put into place. When people are not able to think critically, and have not been allowed to learn how to think for themselves, it’s an oppressive disaster that few are aware they are even in.

In Education Week Teacher, April 2018, Ashley Lamb-Sinclair refers to the book “A Whole New Mind” written by author Daniel Pink, who “elaborates on the necessity of pursuing creative thought. In our students future…what will be necessary is creative problem solving, divergent thinking, and unique perspectives on old ideas. Pink explains that it will take standout designs, ideas, and solutions to make a real impact. It is not important that we cultivate creativity just because it feels good, but because our students’ future depends on it.” Sinclair correctly reminds us “There is much at stake if we ignore the creative potential of our students. Developmental research shows that young people actually have a special affinity (inherent connection) for risk that is well suited for developing creative thinking. Teenagers like to rebel, be unique, try new things, and are highly impulsive. Because standardized methods of education often leave little room for deviation, teens can lose sight of this trait, or put it to use in less productive ways.”

In Conclusion, constraints put on learning opportunities by these poorly constructed government entities, rigid administrators that haven’t stepped in a classroom since they left school themselves, and a culture of like-minded people demanding ongoing conformity, causes a need for teachers who are brave enough to take risks against the system in order to provide them with the highest possible lessons and experiences. And teachers deserve the freedom in their working environments in order to do so.

 

 

Required Entry: Weird Situations and Observations. Adapted from an assignment by Joyce Johnson

I’m not weird, you’re weird.

  1. There’s a man on the corner of March and Pacific every so often, who likes to stand about 3 feet away from the waiting cars at the light as he balances a bicycle on his head. It’s like unicycling, but opposite. And I hate it when I get stuck next to him because I fear that one day he will lose balance and drop the bike on my car. He’s weird. But not exactly too weird…
    As a child, my uncle would come over with card tricks to amuse my dad and I and practice his juggling skills. I struggled to learn but was never quite coordinated enough. His main event trick was when he would balance a pool stick on his nose for what seemed like an hour. Even though it’s similar to the guys actions above, this was not weird. That was talent.
  2. I live next door to a cemetery. I love it as you can imagine, my house is peaceful with no complaints or loud parties or fights etc.… they’re dead. So they make the perfect neighbors. Last year, a schizophrenic man “trapped” himself in the cemetery and stripped down naked and then had to call the cops from his cell phone to come unlock the gate that wasn’t actually locked. It was weird. But not exactly too weird…
    When my daughter was almost 2, I took up to the frog jump, and then we drove down to Murphy’s for the annual bike run through town. Hundreds of motorcycles were rolling down the main street as I was standing along the side in the mix of thousands of people. That’s when her diaper literally exploded all over me. I had crap ALL over me. So, I did the most rational thing I could do as a mom, and I ran to the nearest house, broke into the back yard, stripped my daughters bottom half off and stripped my top half off and hosed us both off while doing laundry in some strangers backyard with freezing cold water. Their fence didn’t even go all the way around the yard, so if they had come home, or a neighbor had seen me, they probably would be forever telling the story of a crazy lady with the poor kid. In my eyes- it was a survival tactic.
  3. Growing up, my dad owned a racetrack. When the lines to the bathroom got long on the ladies side, it was pretty normal to invade the mans restroom. Nobody cared. We all just had to pee before the main event started so it didn’t matter where we did it. However, if I would have gone into the men’s restroom at the mall or a restaurant, it was very possible that I would have gotten thrown out, called disgusting, or my parents would have been called due to my incorrigibility. Now, we are all at the point in society when a bathroom is just a bathroom and available for everyone. It’s not weird.
  4. For a few years, there was a popular show on MTV called “Jackass” in which a few guys would get together and come up with ridiculous and shocking acts that were beyond safe and sane behavior. Even though they were funny, they were extremely weird and nuts.
    Until, as a single mom of two boys, those behaviors became the daily norm in my household and even though it was stressful for me at the time, and borderline dangerous enough to be afraid I’d have CPS knocking on my door at some point, those crazy stunts were no longer weird, but just a part of their growing up and making fun memories.Weirdness is only weird when certain acts are done outside of specific environments. When one guy strips naked and runs down Pacific Avenue, it’s weird and arrest worthy. But when the same guys strips naked and runs through a football field at halftime, it’s brave and funny and news worthy.
    It all boils down to the fact that we are all weird, humans are just weird and we all say weird stuff and have weird habits and do weird things.
    Which makes us all perfectly normal.

On Being Sane in Insane Places

The FDA warns that you may not remove the label .

Can we really tell the sane from the insane? David L. Rosenhan decided to find out the answer to this very question in an experiment he conducted that required 8 of his students to check themselves into a mental ward without telling a single person that they were there for study and observation. These students spent anywhere from 1-7 weeks after they were accessed by psychologists and labeled with various mental illness prognosis after a guesstimated average of just 9 seconds of observation to decide their fate. As the experiment went on, Rosenhan had to legally fight for some of his students to be released. Once admitted, the institutions were labeling their behaviors for every little action (normal actions) and creating permanent charts that would wrongfully label them as insane. As if it wasn’t intimidating enough to even agree to the study, once inside the institutions, the environment and surroundings were even more intimidating with no way out. The study group had practiced their roles prior to admission to guide them in actions as well as learning how to hide any medications given so nothing could alter their state of mind. Keep in mind that these students were perfectly sane, but as they presented themselves as if they were hearing voices in their head. Then, once inside, they would go back to their normal behavior and tell officials that the voices had silenced. This didn’t stop the labels from being thrown and every single one were diagnosed as being insane. The two goals in this experiment, one of which learning as to whether or not psychiatric labels would be used appropriately The field experiment used the independent variable of the lack of symptoms and the dependent variable being the responses of the staff. The second goals were to get a reliable study of what exactly it’s like to be a psychiatric patient in an insane asylum. Despite the reputable institutions and remarkable staff, not of the acts were detected by the staff. Not only was the act not detected, but the staff actually believed that the students were insane, even when behaving in sane manners. This study has proven both the efectivness and the damge that labels can permanently cause an individual.

The Deviant Act of Prostitution

One night stands are only acceptable if you don’t get paid for them.

Every culture has its different ideas of normal; therefore deviance is varied from place to place. Deviance is considered any act that goes against a societies norms, so from one culture/country to another, the boundaries of what is acceptable and what is not, will differ. This is due to the fact that deviance is socially constructed. From a structural functionalist viewpoint, Durkheim believes that some deviance is good for society. In this writing, I will be discussing the deviant act of prostitution from his, and others viewpoints. Prostitution is considered the exchange of sex  or sexual activity for money. In Durkheim’s theory, prostitution is a deviant act that only strengthens societies cultural norms and values, in that it keeps clear boundaries in order to know the difference between good and bad in society. He recognizes that a little bit of deviance holds value and is viewed as OK but a lot of deviance is not accepted. In the case of prostitution, American society tends to view this exchange with disgust and claim it to be extreme and immoral. It sets the bar as to which women are for marrying and which women are just for a good time. They are not interchangeable in our society, even though it is one of the oldest professions in history. In countries like Holland or Germany, there are entire districts dedicated to sexual behaviors that are merely viewed as a necessary need for humankind. Big American cities have these districts as well, but on a much smaller scale than other countries and with very different acceptability. Durkheim would also say that because of the fact that America has added these red light districts, following the steps of other countries, it proves that deviance is necessary for change. That eventually, after time, deviance encourages movement and evolution of society.
In the viewpoint of the Social Conflict Theory, the norms of society reflect the interests of the elite. Therefore, prostitution is only considered deviant because it is an act that is beneath the character of higher society. However, in reality, we know this to be untrue from the Heidi Fleiss case in which over 20,000 businessmen were in her little black book of clients that she provided call girls with. Just with that case alone, we know that the elite will quietly partake in the receiving end of prostitution benefits and never fully admit it, and when caught in the act, colleagues and family members can better accept it under the label of an “Escort Service” rather than something so dirty as “prostitution”. Both are the very same thing, the only difference is that one is more convenient in the fact that you can stay at your home or office and call a sex worker in and have her delivered like a pizza, as opposed to having to drive around and pick one up yourself off the street. It’s also considered more acceptable because the appearances and cleanliness are better than streetwalkers. But the job itself is exactly the same.
This brings us to the Symbolic Interactionism who will look at deviance as a labeling theory. In the case of the escort vs. the whore, the only difference would be the label that makes one more acceptable in society than the other. But once a girl crosses the line, and her label changes, she is no longer eligible to work for the upper class. The labeling theory is also one of the reasons that it is extremely difficult for a woman to leave this way of life behind. It is not considered merely a job she has but more of who she is as a person. Once a woman is labeled, its almost impossible for her to value herself or see herself in any other way, even when surrounded in environments where no one knows about the label. If she does manage to move on into the realm of the norm, it will never be a part of her past that is acceptable to speak about and ever share with others. If so, she will be ostracized and excluded from both work and social groups. Sadly, this will often keep her trapped in her label.

 

Police Accounts of Normal Force

I had a friend Kyle who spent his 10 short years of his adult life protesting and exposing police brutality. Sadly, he died a few years ago at the age of 28 due to cancer, but he left a huge legacy behind in certain circles of San Fransisco due to his diligent and brave work to expose and end police brutality. As a white Lodi boy, this was very much out of the norm, as these instances and epidemics do not typically effect small towns, and people tend to believe that just because it’s non existant in their personal world, then the problem must not exist at all. He saw beyond himself to fight for a cause that effects so many and I just felt he was worth mentioning for this article.

Reports suggest that blacks are 3 times more likely to be killed by police than whites. This is due to poverty and systematic racism, and although thearticle by Jennifer Hunt in Police Accounts of Normal Force, is not based merely on the unfair treatment of blacks, the subject is more relevant now than ever, and there is a thread that runs throughout humanity that makes us all responsible for both the actions of those that harm others and the severity of treatment of those that are at the brunt of that harm. We are all effected by one anothers actions. As a general rule, the ideal citizen would act in a manner that would avoid any run in with the police. However, when there are run ins, the police need to have clear boundries and be held responsible for harmful actions that go beyond those boundaries. In 2015 the United States Police Force killed over 100 unarmed people, most being African Americans. That rounds to almost 2 every single week. Unarmed blacks are killed at 5 times the rate of whites when it comes to death by police officers. It is nearly impossible for police to completely 100% seperate personal feelings and job responsibilities. Outside of the few bad apples that just can’t control their anger and make it a habit of abusing their power, human nature will just override professionalism of even the best of officers in times of suspected abuse towards children, elderly and other crimes of injustice which has created a huge epidemic in our country that needs to be addressed for both our citizens and our police officers.

The Pathology of Imprisonment

You are what I say you are.

I watched the Stanford Prison Experiment a year or two ago, not for any particular reason other than documentaries, in any language, are my only TV addiction. The article in Henslins book titled the Pathology of Imprisonment discusses some of the consequential discoveries that came about through Dr. Zimbardo and Stanley Milgrams experiment in which they constructed only for the purpose and hope of contributing to prison reform. Zimbardo, conducting this in the basement of the psychology departmentand even in a mock scene, felt it necessary to call off the experiment after only a week, due to the actions of the role-players, in which their behaviors could no longer be distinguished from play to reality. His study on the psycological effects of becoming a prisoner became more real than he ever expected, as well as the effects of the chosen guards. He origionally felt it was going to be a long and boring experiment, and quickly realized that it is far to easy for humans to become a product of their environment. He proved that there are a set of social psychological variables that can make ordinary people do things that they would normally never imagine themselves doing. In his experiment, there was no clear set rules and this in itself contributed to the breakdown and chaos of the experiment. He has helped us, as a society, know that foundations and rules are detrimental to our success as a unit. Without them, humanity falls apart and individuals behave in animalistic and non productive manners.