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The prevalence of child soldiers is a tragic phenomenon that spans different warring nations.  Watch and respond to the following video by a former Sudanese child soldier named Emmanuel Jal.  

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1. Watch Part 1 of the CBC documentary “Love, Hate & Propaganda: War on Terror” (45 minutes) available here: http://www.cbc.ca/lovehatepropagandawaronterror/2012/05/episode-1.html  

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The article "Black Model Nykhor Paul Is 'Tired Of Apologizing For [Her] Blackness' posted by Julee Wilson on August 17th 2015 to Huffington Post Canada centers around the idea of racism in the fashion industry. South Sudanese model Nykhor Paul's Instagram post is referenced, where she expresses her annoyance of professional makeup/hair stylists not being prepared to deal with a black girl by not having the right color makeup or never having practiced with dark hair textures.

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In the article posted through Huffington post on June 23rd 2015, the author, K. T. Sancken, speaks up about the issue of race and racism in relation with children of today’s society in her article entitled “What I Told My Children About Charleston.” Following the tragedy in Charleston, where a white man entered a church full of black people and murdered them all simply because of their “race”, Sancken decided to talk to her one and five year old daughters about this issue. Before this incident, she mentions that race was only a part of their conversation if the daughters themselves brought up the subject, and her responses weren’t very thoughtful or precise. She decided at that moment to inform her daughters about African-Americans awful past in America, slavery and civil rights, while showing that it is horrible, and that it shouldn’t happen again. K. T. Sancken concludes with the importance of speaking to her daughters following her research, where she learned that “everybody is equal” is not a good enough answer, because racist manners, categorizing of humans and having more of a white preference will still occur in children. First of all, a slight weakness that I noticed in this article is when Sancken uses the term “race” as being real. However, our ‘’Myth of Race and Reality of Racism’’ class has taught us that race is socially constructed, and has been proven false in anthropology studies. I think that it’s a flaw in her article, but can remain acceptable, because people use this false word in society, which is why she employed it to talk to her daughters. On the other hand, a strength in her article, with which I agree, is the fact that she realised that she should take the initiative to talk to her daughters about “races” to stop further perpetuation of racism. She also realised that children do recognise that phenomenon and start categorizing at an early age, which corresponds with what we have seen in class, where there is a popular myth that children are color-blind, resulting in an impossibility of having racial prejudices. As described in the article “Children Are Not Colorblind: How Young Children Learn Race” by Erin N. Winkler, it’s important to simply talk about it, in a meaningful, accurate and age-appropriate way. A strength in Sancken’s article is the fact that she realised her initial responses to her children’s questions (“everyone is equal”, “under the skin, we are all the same”) were not useful. She decided to give her children legitimate helpful explanations, such as the word “nigger”, being the most disgusting word in English language that should never be used. This remains, in my opinion, a strength in her story, because she was age-appropriate, but did not dilute the complexity of the issue, like many parents do. Furthermore, I believe that in Sancken’s and any other parent’s case, it is crucial to talk about the history of “race”, and make sure children understand that it is wrong and should not be repeated, as the author mentioned. More importantly, as class notes demonstrate, children’s brains are in major development and are prone to stereotypes, which is why an adult needs to shape their understanding of “race” and interpret racial categories to avoid negative outcomes. Lastly, I agree with the author’s point that if she didn’t, as a mother, talk to her children about this issue, they would make assumptions and separations, most likely favoring whiteness. As mentioned in class, children begin to see whiteness as the norm for standard appearance and can also experience in-group bias.

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“Racism linked to depression and anxiety in youth”, an article published by the University of Melbourne that was released on September 17th 2013, discusses the link between the development of depression and anxiety in young people having been victims of racism. The main researcher of the study, Dr. Naomi Priest, states that the university’s review showed 461 cases of links between racism and youth health outcomes. According to the researcher, racism is an important factor influencing the wellbeing and mental health of children.

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Rachel Dolezal: Born White, Self-identifies as Black In the article posted June 17th 2015 on CBC news, titled “Why can’t Rachel Dolezal be as Black as she wants to be?” the author, Neil MacDonald tells the story of Rachel Dolezal’s struggle with reinventing her self-identity. This women was born a Caucasian, but wants to be “transracial” and become black, explaining that she “self-identified with the black experience.” She proceeded to darken her skin and dye her hair to look like a mixed-raced person. The author goes on to compare Rachel’s situation to Caitlyn Jenner being transgender and identifying as a women, although being born a man. Jenner’s transformation was accepted overall by society and American liberals, contrarily to Rachel, who has received such little approval. The author states that if Rachel is trying to appropriate the victimhood of blacks, as society says, how is Caitlyn not attempting to appropriate women’s oppression? Neil MacDonald concludes by saying he respects the work Rachel has accomplished, but believes that, after all, classifying and distinguishing races is useless. Response: First of all, a weakness that I have noticed in this article is that they use the term “race” as being a real thing. However, as we have learned in the “Myth of Race and the Reality of Racism” class, race is socially constructed, and still used in society, although it has been proven false in anthropology. The author uses the terms transracial, mixed-race look, and transitioning to another race, which is, in my opinion, a weakness in his article, because they are false words. A fact that was stated in the article with which I disagree is when Rachel says: "I was socially conditioned to be limited to whatever biological identity was thrust upon me and narrated to me." However, as mentioned in class, racial classification is not a good way to describe biological differences, meaning that she shouldn’t have been limited in a “racial sense” by her biological traits. Also, a strength that I noticed in Macdonald’s article, is his comparison of Rachel’s situation to Caitlyn Jenner. Jenner was born a man, but self-identified as a woman and decided to make changes to have the appearance of one. Rachel was born white, but self-identified as black, and decided to make changes to have the appearance of one. Both situations are the same: about how a person feels and self-identifies as someone other than who they were born as. However, Caitlyn is accepted, while Rachel is not. I agree with the author in saying that Rachel’s change does no harm and is the same as being transgender. In class, we faced this situation when the teacher asked us to go in a certain place of the class that corresponded to how we felt: white, black, yellow and brown. Some individuals were hesitant of where to go, because they were scared that if they went in black, for example, people would say: “You’re not black”, or would compare their skin color to others, even if he would place himself with the blacks. In that situation, I felt like the person should have gone where they felt they belonged, no matter what people thought. In my opinion, this event can be related to Rachel Dolezal’s situation as being unfair, unrepresentative of reality and subjective. However, Rachel’s argument of wanting to be transracial is, in a sense, wrong, because she is classifying herself into a race. As seen in Darren Curnoe’s article “Human Races: Biological Reality or Cultural Delusion?” we all belong to a single species Homo sapiens, making it wrong to divide into subspecies, such as races. References MacDonald, N. (2015, June 17). Why can’t Rachel Dolezal be as Black as she wants to be? Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/why-can-t-rachel-dolezal-be-as-black-as-she....

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In the article entitled "If Racial Profiling Happens To Doctors At Their Own Hospitals, Who Can Be Safe From It?" published by Dr. Boluwaji Ogunyemi through HuffingtonPost on April 19, 2015, brings forth attention to the insensitive stereotypes that men and women often speculate towards young African-American men. Dr. Ogunyemi was a newly admitted physician on his first shift in the emergency room where he was dressed casually in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. In an attempt to grab his new attire and accessories to change into, Dr.Ogunyemi was put to a halt as he was placing his new personal belongings into his bag. A middle-aged woman who worked in the same hospital questioned and suspected the young black man for his actions. Dr. Ogunyemi goes on to mention that she came to him with a very agressive approach and spoke in a ill-mannered tone which made it seem like she was interrogating him rather than simply asking a question out of pure curiosity. With an identification card to confirm his employment and equal accessibility to the equipment’s used at the hospital, the woman then confesses that she presumed he was a thief because he is young and black. Dr. Ogunyemi concludes by saying that social networks and the media substantially influences racial stereotyping and that it also incapacitates the ability to truly learn about a person for who they are and not who they seem to be for their skin colour. White people can't dance, Asian's excel in mathematics and young black men steal are all examples of stereotypes that will continue to linger throughout the generation because it is often displayed through various means on social media. The negative remarks and prejudice that people generate online towards different races and cultures promotes discrimination and racism. As mentioned by Jared Diamond in his article entitled "Race Without Color" (November 1, 1994) race is an arbitrary system meaning the society has socially constructed the existence of race whether it was done innocently or with the intent of being a racist. I do not believe that the middle aged women was racist herself. Although I do believe she was highly influenced by the media which often portrays young black men as thieves, which labels the whole community of African-American men just like Dr. Ogunyemi as potential thieves. False accusations are made on a regular basis especially towards race and Dr. Ogunyemi was victimized by this act which is unfair because he worked his way up and earned his title as a physician and did not come all this way to be accused as a thief on his first shift of his life-time career. Therefore I solemnly believe that the media in all its shapes and forms should quit antagonizing different races and their cultures just to simply bring attention to their self-centered program or newsfeed. Instead they should promote all the positive aspects each culture has to share with one another just like what Dr. Ogunyemi had asked for. To conclude, I believe that we should reinforce the acceptance of cultural diversity by negating the racial stereotypes we have all come to live by in order to eliminate racial profiling and the burden it carries on hard working and dedicated individuals such as Dr. Ogunyemi. References Ogunyemi. B. (2015). If Racial Profiling Happens To Doctors At Their Own Hospitals, Who Can Be Safe From It? Retrieved September 8, 2015, from http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/boluwaji-ogunyemi/racial-profiling-black-do...

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Being a woman nowadays means dealing with a lot of problems. In our society, women have to be perfect: they have to be beautiful, kind, intelligent, ect. If they are not, what usually happens is that these women are not as prioritized as “perfect” women are, because they do not meet our civilization’s criteria. ! Then, why are we thinking that women are socially equal to men, when both of the genders are exposed to the same society and yet, no equality is visible.  

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