Posted outside the computer section at Love Library
With the recent riots in Baltimore overtaking all discussions and social media, I became interested in other events around that world where social unrest have caused turmoil. In the picture shown above, taken by Oded Balilty of the Associated Press 2006, we can see a single Jewish settler challenging Israeli security officers during clashes that erupted as authorities cleared the West Bank settlement of Amona, east of the Palestinian town of Ramallah. Thousands of troops in riot gear and on horseback contended with hundreds of stone-throwing Jewish settlers living in this illegal West Bank outpost after Israel’s Supreme Court cleared the way of demolition of nine homes at the site. Balility’s photo from this incident were so influential, that it resulted in him winning a Pulitzer Prize in 2007.
The powerful images captured by Oded Balilty are crucial in depicting the oppression and injustices going on not only in the United States, but as well as around the world. His images, although heart-wrenching, provide an eye opening view on important issues that many are blind to. The media now strays away from the real problems at hand, and for the most part, only airs images which give its audiences a false sense of security.
The photo was found when searching in the Google search bar “tragic photos in history”. Although, not the original picture which I believe is on the official Associated Press website, it is still a very clear picture and was 500 x 350 megapixels.
As we have recently studied social movements and student activism throughout the 1960’s, I began to ask myself the question, is student activism dead?
Student activism in the 60’s was very prominent, and was a huge force to be reckoned with. It had finally began to put pressure on the government to address institutionalized racism, and also been the catalyst to the end of the Vietnam War. Yet today, in a time where social injustices are high, students are incompetent and callous. As the generation raised on Jackass and American Pie, we have seen a drastic change in university culture in the past decade. To my generation, wars are what happened to our grandparents and human rights violations are things that happen in other foreign countries. We have mistakenly taken the stability and freedom of our democracy for granted and have become the most passive and politically ineffective generation in living memory. Law makers purposely overlook the interests of young people because they are aware that voters ages 18-24, are the least likely to turn out to vote. The student riots of 2010 showed promise in regards to progress for change, but were very much short lived. Our generation of students need to wake up and realize that change will not come unless we put an end to these injustices.
Student Activism in the 1960’s
Student Activism Now
In our last class, Professor Blum discussed the idea of Neoliberal Capitalism throughout the Second Invention Age resulting in everyone wanting more. The light bulb in 1880 could last 1,200-1,500 hours, but can now last anywhere from 25,000-50,000 hours. Yet, Americans purchase 2 million light bulbs each year, despite the advancements in duration. Our generation has become accustomed to wanting everything now and more of it.
This last weekend, I went to a rave called LED Anniversary where DJ’s performed for hundreds of people with pyrotechnics and light displays. It amazed me at how many light bulbs had gone into this small event, in order to increase the “WOW” factor and yet again provide more to the consumer.
Over the weekend I watched a TV show on Comedy Central called, “The Nightly” hosted by Larry Wilmore. As I watched the show, Wilmore and his guest stars discussed serious issues which very much related to topics brought up in History 110 lecture thus far. The first clip references normalities and fertitlity rates in the 20th century. While the second clip shows a discussion about superclasses in America and oppression throughout the centuries. The third clip shows Penn Jillette stating that “statistics say, the more women in society and the more women in power, the more peace and the less violence you have.”
As I referenced topics talked about in lecture to this TV show, I began to realize the significance of the clip with Penn Jillette. As Professor Blum had just recently discussed the childish and savage-like behavior of our government in the past. The Department of Defense was created after both World Wars, in order to have a place that essentially supplies artillery and in return, deaths. The etymology of the word “defense” in this case is used in the opposite context. All this because of the assassination of an Austrian archduke? Which in the end created the question, what would foreign relations be like if more women were in power?