Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I have many after thoughts and do not know where to begin. I will say that although it may not have been intended by Jodi and the coordinators, it is interesting that the room that we had our pre-trip meeting in was so big and the chairs were set up so formal and not intimate. Though we went around the room stating personal information it was all too impersonal. What I find interesting is that on the trip many of us became closer, closer through learning about love on a civil rights pilgrimage, sharing experiences. So, I am basically commenting on the fact that our spatial orientation at the beginning to the end of the trip paralleled real experiences of becoming closer as university students and perhaps friends.

I also still believe, as I believed before the trip, that there must be some balance between recognizing and celebrating others differences while still treating the other with love, as though born from the same soil. This is a difficult balance to find and I think that people’s general failure to see this perpetuates much of the needless racism and stereotypes in general. In other words, we want to transcend race, while still affirming it – this is difficult and when people take things too seriously they find that life is a much more difficult place to live in. I don’t believe very many people want to hate others. They are just poisoned by their surrounding culture and don’t have the courage to act otherwise. That is what I have learned we need in life, to take on life, to affirm it for both its pains and pleasures. It perhaps took racism and discrimination for many blacks to realize their full courage and potential. And I am not justifying racism but saying in hindsight it is the challenging situations in life that bring out the most in ourselves, our courage and full potential.

Another thought concerns the word ‘statuses’. It seems to me that most bad isms have to do with some type of prescribe value or role. Take for example how indeed we have come some way in terms of racism in this country. I mean, don’t get me wrong, we as a whole are still quite racist, but in terms of real progress I think there has been some. If not, I would be saying the whole civil rights movement did no good, but I know that it did. I just think that we need to take a step back when considering our biases, freedom, or what have you. I am alluding to the fact that on one hand we have overcome some of our racism but I think that on the other hand it has merely transformed into other biases and prejudice or status characteristics.

Consider clubs that have dress codes, or snobby teens that won’t invite some girl to a party because her parents don’t make enough money. Consider folks that think they are entitled to make degrading comments about another simply because of their age – it goes both ways – old to young and young to old. Consider the smut and sex on all the Bourbon streets of the world; consider the objectifications. Consider husbands voting for gay marriage and then beating their wives. There is so much to consider.

The problem is that as a whole I think we are really fucked up, perhaps because (1) our institutions are full of flaws and corruption, and (2) individuals are very complex, multi-dimensional beings that are loving, hating, rational, irrational, and all of they above. In this sense we have not so much progressed as a whole, but have changed. Our hatred is so much more subtle – our eyes secretly more devouring. We must put on many faces in this multi-cultural society, as Goffman gets at, that we manage our impressions given our situation. The question, of course, is of authenticity and how can we align our inner and outer worlds, and would we want to…where is our value, where is our love…

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