Friday, March 27, 2015

Germanwings Crash: Searching for Answers

Three days ago a Germanwings passenger plane crashed into the side of the French Alps killing all 150 people on board the aircraft. There has been speculation that the co-pilot of the flight, Andreas Lubitz crashed the plane purposefully. The Germanwings flight was en route from Barcelona, Spain to Düsseldorf, Germany. You can see a timeline of events of the plane here.

It has now been revealed that the Germanwings co-pilot Lubitz had an illness that he had kept secret from his employer. CNN states that, "investigators found ripped, recent medical leave notes, including for the day of the offence (crash)." This leads to, "preliminary conclusion" that "[Lubitz] kept his illness secret from his professional environment." The prosecutor did not reveal what the illness was.

The use of the words "preliminary conclusion" is interesting to me because it shows that what they have found is not final and that there could be more answers. A lot of people have jumped to conclusions thinking that the Co-Pilot crashed the plane on purpose, but in reality, no one really knows yet.

I find it interesting throughout this whole tragedy that mostly everything is inferred from the evidence that was given. Everything that is said on the major news networks such as Fox News and CNN is an interpretation.There is no one answer to this tragedy yet and it still remains a mystery why the plane was crashed. It could have been intentional or it could have been an accident. It is interesting to see how every country is helping somehow to find the answers as to why the crash happened.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Update on the Oklahoma Racist Frat Chant

A couple weeks ago, a video of a racist chant with racial slurs preformed by the Sigma Alpha Epsilon surfaced onto social media. You can view the 10 second clip of the chant here. This video has caused much controversy throughout society due to the hurtful references to the lynching or "tree-hanging" of African Americans. Whether this chant was said as a joke or not, anti-black slurs should not be said as a joke due to their hurtful influence on the African-American community. 

Recently fraternity member Levi Pettit, the leader of the chant in the video, publicly apologized for his behavior. Pettit has met with African-American leaders such as pastors in the Oklahoma community to personally apologize for his behavior. Pettit states in his apology, "The truth is what was said in that chant is disgusting, and after meeting with these people, I've learned these words should never be repeated." Although it is good that members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity apologized, it is still evident that there are racial inequalities still in existence today. It is still unclear if the fraternity has any African American members but the lyrics of the chant refer to how, "there will never be a n***** in SAE."  This means that there will never be an African American brother of the fraternity. Because Oklahoma is a state in the deep South where slavery was very prevalent, the fact that this chant exists reveals that there are still racial biases and white supremacy that exists today. The origins of the chant are unclear and Pettit avoided questions that asked where he learned the chant. 

The Oklahoma University chapter of SAE was closed by the national chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and all of the Oklahoma University members were asked to leave the house. The two people who were leading the racist chant were expelled from the University for "[creating] a hostile learning environment for others" says University of Oklahoma President David Boren. 

I feel that the right disciplinary action was taken against the SAE frat due to the insanely hurtful and disgusting things they said in the chant. There are still further investigations being done against the frat in other Universities as well such as the University of Texas Chapter for allegedly performing that same chant. Due to the locations of those Universities in the deep South, I wonder how much progress we as a nation have actually made when it comes to racial equality. Have we really made a change?  

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Frozen Merchandise To The Max

If you do not live under a rock you would know about Disney's children's film, Frozen. According to the International Movie Database (IMDb), Frozen is about, "[a] newly crowned Queen Elsa [who] accidentally uses her power to turn things into ice to curse her home in infinite winter." As all Disney movies are, this movie also features many catchy songs such as the famed "Let It Go" theme song.  
This movie came out in 2013 and I find it interesting how it is 2015 and still today, many young kids are still obsessed with this movie. 
Movie Poster for Frozen 
Last night I was babysitting for a family who have two small children ages 2 & 5. The amount of Frozen merchandise that they owned was not only impressive but shocking due to the fact  that the movie came out almost two years ago. From an "Olaf" snow-cone machine to a smaller scale doll house of Elsa and Anna's castle, there was an insane amount of movie merchandise. The 5-year-old girl's night gown was even a remake of one of the characters dresses. 

If you go onto Google and "google" the word "frozen", on the right of the page appears a "shop for frozen on Google box" that is filled with ridiculous merchandise for unreasonable prices. I find it interesting how companies such as Disney know how to market their products to get the most out of the film. I can't even imagine how much profit Frozen is making the company from just the merchandise alone. Disney is really "milking" the movie for all its got, not to mention that there probably will be a sequel to this movie. 

Should we give companies the power to exploit young children's parents of their money? Young children become obsessed with characters from the film to a point where it is almost concerning that a movie can have so much influence on a child's mind. Is this a good thing?  

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Shoutout To New Trier from The New York Times

A couple of days ago some of my friends from the East Cost notified me that my high school (New Trier High School) was mentioned in a New York Times article by Frank Bruni.

Curiosity had struck, so I went online and read the article about "How to Survive the College Admissions Madness." Reading it from the perspective of current New Trier student, I knew that New Trier would probably get called out for its pristine reputation.

 The article begins to describe New Trier as a school in an "affluent Chicago suburb. [Whose] graduating seniors go on to higher education" (Bruni). Although New Trier is known for its location in a wealthy Chicago suburb, I feel that the author of this article is generalizing the entire school by his diction of "affluent" in the sentence. The use of the word "affluent" in the preceding sentence is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as "having a large amount of money and owning many expensive things." Even though New Trier is given the stereotype of every student having money, that is not the reality. Sure, most student's families at New Trier have money and expensive things but there are students who don't. Also, this gives off the vibe that everyone at New Trier is a rich and selfish snob and that certainly is not true.

Bruni goes on to say that "New Trier [is] a public school posh enough to pass for private" and at this point I started to laugh because if you've actually been inside New Trier's East Campus building, anyone would see that the building is anything but "posh" and is in need of reparations. The stereotyping that is associated with this school is completely ridiculous and I feel that people are generalizing New Trier down to a school that is filled with snobby rich kids who can use their parents money for anything. There is that old saying to "Don't judge a book by its cover" and I think that this applies to New Trier as well.  There are great people who are students and teachers at New Trier and I think that people need to see through the stereotypes to see that not everyone fits the stereotype that is given to this school.