Thursday, December 10, 2009

Responses from Class

1. Video about Haymarket Riots

The right to assembly implies the right to strike. People are allowed to come together to talk or plan about whatever they want. They are also allowed to come together, acting upon that plan, to protest or to strike. The only time when these rights would be taken away is in the face of clear and present danger. It is the government's job to balance the peoples' right to free speech and assembly with the needs of the community.

2. Women's Rights

Is voting the basis of citizenship? Did suffrage make women equal?

Voting is the basis of citizenship because it is the privilege of citizens that makes them part of the democracy. Involvement in democracy is involvement in the government, and being able to be involved in the government makes you a citizen. Women may have gained equally in the eyes of the government, but they still were not seen as equal to their fellow citizens. Employers were still paying them less and husbands still felt superior, making them unwilling to stay home and take on house-making roles typically occupied by women.

The equal rights amendment was never ratified. Should it be? Should we have an amendment protecting women if there's one protecting African Americans?

A specific amendment protecting women's rights shouldn't be necessary; Americans should just know that all people (no matter of race or gender) are created equal. Seeing that wages are still not the same and that "glass ceilings" still exist, an amendment defending women's rights against other Americans might be necessary. I don't have any personal experience with this issue, so I'm not sure.

3. "I Have a Dream" Speech

Obviously a really great speech. It is interesting that Martin Luther King is speaking to two entities, only one of which is present: He is addressing the people gathered before him, seeking racial equality, but also the government or the nation, whom he urges to realize the fact that they owe rights to the African American population and the fact that his followers will not be satisfied or quieted if the government tries to silence and ignore them. Martin Luther King is speaking to the people who already believe in his cause. He is not speaking to convince anyone else, but only to strengthen his supporters in the resolve to pursue the dream of racial justice.

4. Huey Newton

Huey Newton is less idealistic and admits the more evil tendencies of Americans. He believes in confronting the issue and addressing the very true but embarassing, hidden, stereotypical thoughts that everyone has. We cannot end prejudice unless everyone admits that they are prejudiced.

5. H. Rap Brown

He is less cooperative. He identifies the problem to be the rest of the country. He is good at humorously comparing his followers' situations to common, simple situations that help people to realize the injustices directed at them.

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