Saturday, December 31, 2016

Born A Crime by Trevor Noah quotes

Often, and almost repetitively, when the American media talks about time travel, and going back in time, they say they would kill Hitler. Trevor Noah in his book, Born A Crime, says: "Every country thinks their history is the most important, and that's especially true in the West. But if black South Africans could go back in time and kill one person, Cecil Rhodes would come up before Hitler. If people in the Congo could go back in time and kill one person, Belgium's King Leopold would come way before Hitler. If Native Americans could go back in time and kill on person, it would probably be Christopher Columbus or Andrew Jackson" (p. 195.)

Born A Crime by Trevor Noah

From Born a Crime by Trevor Noah: "Cheese boys were in a uniquely fucked situation when apartheid ended. It is one thing to be born in the hood and know that you will never leave the hood. But the cheese boy has been shown the world outside. His family has done okay. They have a house. They've sent him to a decent school; maybe he's even matriculated. He has been given more potential, but he has not been given more opportunity. He has been given an awareness of the world that is out there, but he has not been given the means to reach it...
"Man young men in South Africa's townships, freedom looks like this: Every morning they wake up, maybe their parents go to work or maybe not. Then they go outside and chill on the corner the whole day, talking shit. They're free, they've been taught how to fish, but no one will give them a fishing rod." (p. 208.)

The slightly prosperous people who make up this base of support [of the Constitution] are buffers againt the blacks, the Indians, the very poor whites. They enable the elite to keep control with a minimum of coercion, a maximum of law--all made palatable by the fanfare of patriotism and unity. -Howard Zinn

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Flower calendar by Cassie Kinney (poem)

Crocuses and daffodils push out of the snow first.
March into April, the Magnolia and Tulips unfold.
The red bud trees and dogwood bloom.
May and June, the Irises and Lilies stretch their petals.
Bee balm, Phlox, Echinacea dots the landscape of July.
Then, Tickseed flowers and black-eyed-Susan's kiss the sun.
I harvest the fruits from flowers till the cold comes.
With that, the plants curl with every passing night.
Death of the foliage and hibernation of the trees,
Of the animals, and me. 

I don't have many friends besides my sister, my sistah, mom, the cats and dog.

I find that the Lord works poem by Cassie Kinney

I will listen to the gospel:
"Swing low, sweet chariot",
"I'll Fly Away",
And "Go tell it on the Mountain".
I can't relate to these songs,
But I can pretend,
And I do like the thought of salvation.
I will tolerate almost all of it--
The hyper Christian archetype.
But I'm frankly flabbergasted
When you say:
"The Lord moved my fingers
To Play this Song".
I simply don't believe you, or--
Your Lord works
In mysterious ways for you,
And for me the Lord
Looked at his watch,
Realized he had to go
On a decade long hiatus.

Winter (Bob Ross inspired) Painting + other art gifts painted by Cassie Kinney

by Cassie Kinney

 I didn't take a picture of the additional birdhouse I painted but here are pictures of one of the birdhouses I painted. For the holidays, I painted both grandmothers a birdhouse. The cardinal winter painting was painted on a wood pallet. I gave this painting to my father for the holidays. The winter landscape painting was inspired by Bob Ross. I have enjoyed the many Bob Ross episodes I have been watching lately. You can also watch Bob Ross episodes on Youtube and Netflix. I am continually inspired by the artist, and feel that he has improved my paintings skills in just a matter of days! I want to continue to paint his style from now on when I do landscapes. His technique is easy and beautiful. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Being Parented by Cassie Kinney

Being Parented

Although my family was characterized as working-class with some aspects of poverty, we were buffered from the various institutionalized and systematic inequalities because we lived out in the country, we are white. We did not face homelessness, racism, otherness, and we were not conflicted by embracing cultural heritage and resisting the white majorities standards, while assimilating and integrating into society for work, school, healthcare, and community. Subsequently, Lamanna and Riedmann's research reflects that typical white, working-class family upbringing, because of the service jobs my mother and father had, authoritarian disciplinary like spanking, the 'natural growth' parenting style where I played lots of video games and watched television extensively.
Furthermore, my family was not characterized as middle and upper class. In some ways my family had some characteristics of a middle and upper class family in engaging children in extracurricular activities like clubs and sports. For example, my youngest brother was encouraged to play baseball for a year. Although my mother tried to get me into cheer leading, basketball, or piano like my friends, and tried to get one of my brothers to be on the Academic team, none of us wanted to do these things. And after a year, my other brother did not want to play sports anymore. All of my siblings are nearly addicted to gaming as adults now. We all went to church with our grandmother but once we each turned 15, we stopped going. I think my youngest brother stopped going at a younger age because I convinced my mother that there's no point brainwashing someone that doesn't believe in god...actually none of us did, so I think my mother just wanted us to be gone for an hour each evening so her and dad could mess around....and by that I actually mean fight privately for an hour.

Additionally, Lamanna and Riedmann's research is reflective of my personal childhood experiences on the basis of social class, race/ethnicity, socialization, and discipline. My mother and father, both at the age of 23, had me in 1990. Both parents are white and most of my extended family is white. I was raised in a cramped, moldy trailer for 6 years up a hollow (“holler”) surrounded by woods—with almost no one as our neighbors except my grandparents (father’s parents). Both my parents were characterized as working-class despite my father coming from family that had over a hundred acres of land that was passed down to his parents. His parents worked in manufacturing and raised tobacco to sell. My mother’s parents worked in factories as well, and retired as early as their 40s in life to draw disability. As characterized by the researchers, working-class families tend to work in service positions. For example, both my mother and father worked in manufacturing, construction, and health care jobs. Later my father went into construction under unpredictable hours, and my mother went back to college for nursing.

When my mother had my three younger siblings, we moved to a small one-and-a-half story home with several neighbors around (but still surrounded by woods.) At this location, we moved less than a mile away from my other grandparents (mother’s parents). For all of my life, I have lived very close to all my grandparents. This is part of the working-class family that must live close to extended family in order to take the burden off of the parents, and grandparents will babysit grandchildren for free or at low cost. Finally, my mother got her BSN to work as an RN. She worked nights, so I never saw my mother. And of course when she had day shift, she was sleeping as soon as she got home until she had to leave in the morning to avoid my father. My father worked during the day, so he played video games and watched television with us throughout the night. This is another illustration of the working-class family as described in the text, where I often played outside, watched lots of television and played video games—as well as my other siblings. Often I played with siblings, but the other half of the time I was by myself. There were almost no moments in childhood where I read books, except maybe to look at pictures which influenced my siblings and I to draw—and very good in fact.

Another aspect of working-class families is the authoritarian style of parenting that occurred in my household. My mother was more disengaged (the 'un-involved' parent) because of her night shift. So not only did I not have help with homework, emotional support, but also this meant that my father was the disciplinarian. For instance, my father spanked all my siblings and I. A couple of times I remember we were told to “line up” so all of us were spanked. Once at a young age (around 11-12), my father locked me out of the house and made me stay on the porch at night for five minutes. Once around the same age, I was locked in the bathroom and told not to come out. When I think back on those same moments, it doesn't seem so bad considering there were other moments I never thought was bad then and I do now. For instance, once while my mother was at work at night, one of my brothers and sister at the ages of 2 and 4, climbed out of a bedroom window and walked down the end of the road with only shirts and underwear on. My father had no idea they were even gone until two young teenage boys knocked on the door saying they picked them up to bring them home. I'm not sure where I was, and I may have been playing video games with dad. This is an illustration of permissive parenting. From these examples, it seems that although my father was authoritarian, he also was permissive in the sense that there were moments where there was absolutely no parental monitoring. My father was an alcoholic back then. Luckily, my mother divorced my father and all of the tension, anxiety, and uncertainty dissipated when he left. He quit drinking and now he participates in church, even plays guitar in a band.

Despite living in a working-class family, there was not aspects of poverty-level living that we endured. For example, as described in the text, poverty-level living families live in rented apartments, moving from place-to-place, and struggle to provide a few extra presents at birthday and Christmas. This was not us, because the house we moved into, was a a bit less than 20,000 dollars. Additionally, we always had big birthdays and Christmases with lots of little presents. I always had a big yard to play in with trees to climb. In the early 2000s, we got our first computer—and that was certainly a luxury! However, a characteristic of low-income and poverty-level family mentioned by the researchers was that mental illness is common, and actually there are differently abled family members, where my brother was diagnosed with Autism. 
Something the researchers do not mention as a characteristic of poverty-level living is not having bedrooms and beds to sleep on. Actually, we didn't have separate beds growing up. It wasn't until I was 15 that I got an actual bed in my own room. I had my own rooms, but I usually slept on a blow up mat or on blankets. I think because I was the oldest and I was going through puberty that I tried to have my own space. I usually shared a place to sleep though up until then. All six of us would sleep like cats and dogs in the house--seeing who is sleeping where for the night and where there is an available spot or blanket. Often the kids slept with mom, or they slept with dad, or we took turns sleeping in the living room floor after a night of eating gross gas station pizza.

From my personal experience, and based on the research, authoritative is the most positive parenting of the four styles, because there is high parental warmth and parental monitoring. In some ways there is freedom for the child as well as consistent discipline that is not harsh, without excessive control, and clearly acknowledges any misbehavior. For example, there is a planned and conscientious parental direction with emotional support, warmth, and nurture.

Masculine dominated language by Cassie Kinney

Masculine dominated language

Within the three days of observing the generic male and female language, I found that words that are demeaning, derogatory, and hateful are so commonly used that they are normalized. Our culture tends to use extreme, violent, binary, loaded or ‘trigger’ words in everyday conversation. From my perspective, ‘Bitch’, ‘bitches’, ‘girl’, and ‘guys’ were used most often in everyday conversation or music when referring to the generic female and male binary. Both ‘bitches’ and ‘guys’ are used in conversation by, and towards, all people. Admittedly, women, including myself, will say ‘you guys’ towards other women. ‘Guys’, is a generic male term while ‘bitch’ is a generic female term while both words are used towards any gender; and yet ‘bitches’ contains so much more negative connotation.
Over the course of three days, I heard ‘guys’, a generic male term, used three times directed towards women or an audience. In one instance, ‘you guys’ was used by me. I was telling my mother that I bought groceries for her and my brothers when I purchased my food. When I was addressing her about this I said, “I got food for you guys.” At this year's first LGBTQ+ pride event in town, one of the male speakers addressed the audience as ‘you guys.’ Later that night when I was on Facebook, I saw that on a picture of two women, a female commented on the photo saying “cute you guys.” Then a different person posted a meme of a fashionable lady with a bourgeois man next to her and the caption said: “Beside every bad bitch is her gay best friend.”
The next day, I was listening to a rap song “Bia Bia” by Lil Jon and the East side Boyz. The title of the song is abbreviated from ‘Bitch’, so when you hear it in the song, it is pronounced B-I-B-I. ‘Bitch’ is directed towards males, and ‘bitch’ is plainly used throughout the song directed at black men or men in general. My partner and I like rap and hip hop despite its flawed and derogatory language. Later that night, we were watching a stand-up special by Louis CK. He says ‘bitch’ in a nasaly Valley-girl voice in one of his jokes. He was portraying a defiant woman, asking ‘are you a little bitch?’ to an implied male character.  ‘Bitch’ was used throughout the rap song as well, but I will count this as one instance where the generic female word is used, so over the course of three days, I heard bitch used three times (including the meme that used ‘bitch.')
Moreover, two female peers called me ‘pretty girl’ when greeting me. Both women on separate occasions said, “Hey, pretty girl.” Naturally because they are both beautiful, I reply back, “Hey pretty girl,” to redirect back what they said to me. When I think about it, it’s awkward that people I barely know greet me in this manner, which is why I paused, smiled, and said: “Hey…other pretty girl.” As laughable or absurd as it is to use this manner of speaking to them, I use this language with my female friends and family (best friend, mother, sister, dog, and cousin.) We all greet one another similarly by saying ‘pretty girl.’ We are exchanging compliments upon greeting, either because we live in a Patriarchal society that has conditioned all of us to compliment one another solely based on looks, or we all are in fact beautiful to the point it must be said in conversation. I probably heard ‘girl’ used four times over the course of three days. 
When grown men are referred to as 'boy', often this evokes a rage that sends me into confusion. In fact I witnessed this on one occasion when my partner was called boy by a 60-year-old man, and he felt it did not come from a harmless place. Actually my partner felt it evoked that old racist tone from the deep south where men were called 'boys' out of domination and disrespect. Actually, I agree with this, which is why I'm wondering why the word 'Girl' does not hold the same disrespect. Historically, the words boy and girl were used by the white master as a way to undermine men and women of color. I certainly may act young and childish, but I don't want to be called a girl at 27-years-old! Presently, society still calls women 'girl(s)' up until they're 30 years old. Even I'm guilty of this! 
From this experiment, I also became aware of other derogatory words used that have been normalized such as ‘rape.’ I heard two men utter that word in casual language to talk about their hardship with math homework and work at a retail store. This exercise also made me reflect on old conversations that I would overhear boys have. For example, to insult someone, boys would say at another boy: “Your mom.” I also reflected on how my own language has become gendered, and I’m not sure how it happened. We all hear these words repeated over and over to a point that we begin to use them ourselves.
To sum up a bit of what I calculated over the last three days of observing the generic female and male language communicated: ‘guys’ was used three times, ‘bitch’ was used three separate times, and ‘girl’ was used four times. From my own interpretation of these words, ‘guys’ is used for everyone in a non-derogatory way, communicating that when the word ‘girls’ is used, it is an insult. For instance, ‘you run like a girl.’ Of course I was the fastest ‘girl’ alongside two other boys in my elementary school, so that wasn’t an insult to me; but ‘girl’ is often used as an insult when directed towards boys or ‘guys.’ ‘Bitches’ is certainly symbolic of our culture when human women are compared to female dogs. These words used in our language are a reminder they involve subtle (or not-so-subtle) ideas about women/girls and men/boys. The masculine dominated language keeps women into categories such as girl, bitch, slut, spinster, and old hag. Our society has created an androsexist language that places men at the center--to the extent of referring women to 'guys', and that it is acceptable for women to want to be men; while simultaneously the culture says it is not acceptable for men to want to "be" or "act" like women. To this extent, the words we use are maintaining sexism and continuing to replicate the ideas of binaries and dichotomies.