Thursday, May 8, 2014

Blog #3

I just finished reading "Ojibwa Warrior," the story of Dennis Banks, founder of AIM. The American Indian Movement is a non-profit organization, that aims to get the rights of Native Americans recognized (pun intended.) The central idea of Dennis Banks' story is: No matter how many things life throws at you, if you work hard, and continue to push on, you will succeed. Dennis and his friends spent a month petitioning the government on "Wounded Knee." Although they faced many struggles, and didn't succeed in the government's eye, Dennis says: "Wounded Knee was the greatest event in the history of Native America in the twentieth century. It was our shining hour, and I am proud to have been a part of it" (209.) I have often felt like Dennis did. I can remember that earlier in the year I was struggling in math, and I was frustrated about not having an "A" in the class. Finally after working hard, I got a good score on a math test. Even though it wasn't 100%, and something that others would see as a normal score, I was proud to have gotten it. After Dennis came back from Japan, he was in a really bad place, and began to drink. "We were all drinking in those years, not really caring what the booze was doing to our health, sometimes going on binges for days and even weeks" (58.) Dennis was definitely in a bad spot around this time, however he was able to pull himself out of it, and become sober, so that he could start AIM. I have faced challenges in my life too. One challenge I will never forget was getting my adenoids removed when I was in first grade, it was a scary experience for a first grader, and I couldn't talk for a while afterword, which made school difficult. However, I got through it, and Dennis did too. I really liked the fishbowl discussion, and found them interesting. Three things that I heard being said that made me think are: "He had self control while being beaten," "It was interesting to see how his past affected his future," and "It is important to get your opinion out and have courage." I could never not stand up for myself, or at least speak up if I was being beaten, and I found it interesting that Peter didn't, and how that affected his future. 
The Central Idea of the blog I follow is: Life before, while, and after being in a foster system is very different from everyday life many people experience, and people can learn a lot from them. On the home screen, there is a message from the author that says: "My life before, during, & after foster care taught me a lot. Here's insight into the lives of the foster kids and foster parents of foster care." The featured article right now is one that I wrote about in my previous blogs, from the perspective of a child in foster care getting their driver's license. This article can teach people not to give up on something that is important to you. All throughout the blog are different personal stories on the lives of foster kids, one of them is about animal assisted therapy. "From leaving my foster home and aging out of foster care into becoming a man, struggling to overcome emotional, financial, and social struggles. I’ve gone from being alone renting a house that was falling apart to buying my own home and now having a family." The story of this person's life in foster care was hard, but they overcame it with the help of an animal. 
A modern example of discrimination against Native Americans is written into the sports culture of our nation. With popular teams having the name "Indians" or "Chiefs," Native Americans are starting to speak out about it. The owner of the Redskins, Daniel Snyder, has publicly spoken out about how he will "Never change the name of the team. NEVER- you can use all caps."
If Dennis were too react to this modern day problem, he would come at the sports world with full force. Dennis has notoriously taken every opportunity he can to stand up for American Indian rights, and this would be no different. Perhaps he would start a boycott of games, a protest on the "Redskins" football field, or started a twitter hashtag/ account, like some teens did to speak out. 
I personally think that it is incredible disrespectful to have a sports team discriminate against a group in this way. An argument of Dylan Snyder was that he "grew up with the mascot." Sports play a huge role in the lives of Americans, and by having these team names is indirectly telling people that it is okay to say these things. Team names can have a huge impact on our culture, so we should change them to impact culture for the better. 

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