Sunday, February 28, 2016

Why are so many mentally disabled people on death row?

The relationship between the death penalty and mental illness has always been a controversial topic. In 1989 with the Supreme court case in Penry v. Lynaugh it was ruled that it was constitutional to execute a mentally ill person who committed a capital crime. Eventually in 1994, Congress passed the Federal Death Penalty Act which included the ill being free from being under death row. Overall, the execution of the mentally ill is illegal but there is still a number of the mentally ill that are executed or not given the proper treatment while imprisoned. 

First, the mentally ill need to treated fairly and given the proper treatment. We cannot just judge them as a regular citizen with no consideration. If they are put under pressure and being interrogated with no consideration, they are more likely to be put on death row without a proper procedure. Society has such a negative view of the mentally ill and there is a lot of stigma around mental health. Society has a fear of the mentally ill when having to do with capital offenses. There are some cases where capital offenders commit crimes and they suffer from a mental illness. However, this is definitely not all cases concerning capital crimes. People have a fear for these kind of cases with mental illness and crimes and are quick to make decisions in court. 

Even though capital punishment is illegal against the mentally ill, there are still many mental health professionals who say that there are still many prisoners who aren't getting proper treatment for their illnesses. We need to understand that the mentally ill are unable to fully understand their actions in some cases and the consequences. We need the role of mental health professionals to help distinguish the mentally ill and help treat those in need. We need to be just and give fair treatment to the mentally disabled.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Nickel and Dimed: What does it mean to be poor?

The literary definition of the word poor that you would find in a dictionary is not having enough money to support yourself and not living in the normal conditions of society. Ehrenreich's own experiences changes her views on what it means to be poor. She says that we all assume that living in poverty is somewhat fine and you can get by if you work hard enough. But, living in poverty through her own experiences, she explains how this is not even a lifestyle anyone can live by or go through. "They are, by almost any standard of subsistence, emergency situations. And that is how we should see the poverty of so many millions of low-wage Americans--as a state of emergency"(214). This statement that the author makes is actually so true. We always assume that people who live on minimum wage have a lifestyle that is enough to support themselves and that the conditions are bearable. However in reality, this is not the case. People who live on minimum wage, live paycheck to paycheck. They can barely get enough food for a day and they don't have enough to get necessities like health insurance and in difficult situations. There will always come a time of hardship whether it is in sickness, accidents or more. A person living on minimum wage can't even afford to have these situations that will always come up in life. Also, one can only work for so long and later on, working in labor can become unbearable. I've realized that living on minimum wage is really not enough for a person to live on. Living in these types of conditions really is an emergency situation. This really isn't okay and there needs to changes to make the gap between the working class and the upper class to become smaller.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Nickel and Dimed:Effects of Poverty

There are many hardships that come with living in poverty. Of course there is the matter with living in harsh physical conditions, but there is also the matter of facing this difficult society. In Nickel and Dimed, the author, Barbara Ehrenreich, experiences the hardships in society when working as a maid. From her experiences and people that she meets, she learns that maids are looked down upon. Owners are often hostile and unwelcoming towards maids. "Maids as an occupational group, are not visible, and when we are seen we are often sorry for it"(99). People usually look past the poor and in this case, maids. The people in this society who are in living in poverty, are definitely looked down upon, sometimes with no sympathy. They struggle having dignity and having to endure the harshness of this society. They seem to not be treated with the rights that all citizens in this country have. Often, it seems the poor is limited to certain rights. The people who work poor in the US don't have a huge voice or say in anything. The people in the lower class, must endure the hostility of this society in order to get by this life and survive. People who are in the higher class are obviously always treated well. When it comes to the lower class, they are never treated well and sometimes not seemed to be cared for.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Stick to the Status Quo?

In this picture, you can clearly see an African-American woman who is sitting at a diner. This diner has a strict no colored policy where African-Americans are not allowed to eat or sit in the diner. In fact, during this time period, many public spots restricted African-Americans from visiting or using public places. As you can tell, a white woman is working the counter and is clearly a bit uncomfortable or uneasy. The black woman is taking a stand for independence and rights. She is not conforming to society and will follow whatever she thinks is best. Even though society is saying that blacks should not be a part of society and should not have certain rights, the woman knows that this isn't right. It can also be shown that she is the only African-American in this picture. We can assume that she is going against the dining policy by herself. We can maybe assume that other blacks were afraid to take a stand. This can show that there is no stopping this woman from believing that blacks deserve to be treated like normal humans and have the right to do the same things as white people. She is not afraid to go up against the normal of society. In fact, she probably knows what the consequences are of not conforming to society. It can lead to a lot of violence and maybe even arrest. She is aware of the risks of doing this, but she knows that she has the right to do this and the normal of this society isn't morally correct or fair.

I think that this woman should be admired for taking a stand and not conforming to the normal of society. We need more people to do things like this. Just because segregating blacks was the normal in society, doesn't mean it was morally right. If we didn't have people going against the normal, what would that make of our society? We would just be following whatever everyone else is doing, even if we don't agree with it. This picture or action can give us motivation to not conform to the normal. Everyone needs to realize that it is okay to not to stick to the status quo. People need to follow what they think is right and stay true to their own morals. We are shown examples of this from Rosa Parks or the March with John Lewis. All these people knew that society was being unfair. They decided to make a change. They probably knew of all the dangers of their actions. In fact, Rosa Parks was arrested and the people at the March were brutally hurt. The actions of these people opened up the eyes of society. The people in society realized how wrong segregation was and this sparked change in our country. Without the radical actions of these people, our society would be drastically different today. Having order and restrictions isn't everything. Our country actually needs non-conformity. We cannot just have people conforming to normal of society.

Reflecting upon my blog, I think I am actually very proud of it. To be honest, starting off my blog was a bit unnatural for me since I've never done anything like this. However, I learned that the whole blog experience is actually very important. In my own blog, I've addressed many issues that are going on in our society today. I've actually addressed many recent issues with discrimination. Discrimination is a serious issue, but it's not like I have a passion for it. I've addressed this topic a lot because it is something that keeps coming up in our society. This can say a lot about our country and what needs to be done to fix it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Trump's Plan to Ban All Muslims

Recently, Donald Trump was telling a crowd in Yorktown, South Carolina about his plans to keep all Muslims out of the United States until the US representatives can figure something out the issues with ISIS. Trump claims that apparently our country has no choice but to do this. Suprisingly, the people in the crowd were cheering on Trump as he was telling his plan. Many of the presidential candidates and people in the Republican party were shocked to hear this. Trump also calls out on Obama for not doing anything and not taking drastic measures on issues with ISIS. Many of his fellow repubublican candidates were against this and said he had no political experience and this was unconstitutional. They said these claims are ridiculous and this system wouldn't even work.

First of all, Trump's claims are all unconstitutional. Our country does not discriminate against any religion. The system of banning Muslims wouldn't work anyways since our country doesn't look at religion during immigration processing and it's not like our religion is listed on our passports. His claims are highly offensive to Muslims and those serving in the army. Also, shouldn't he know better from learning the offense of discrimination and racism from events like Japanese internment camps and black segregation in the past? Trump was just discriminating and showing racism against all Muslims. He's making the assumption that all Muslims are terrorists and we should be suspicious of them.

Read more here

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Fast Food Strikes

The Union backed campaign, Fight for 15 was trying to get the word out that fast food workers and service workers need to get higher minimum wage. These strikes happened all around the country. Many presidential candidates like Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders showed their support for the campaign. Many cites responded back to the campaign. New York promised that by 2021 the minimum wage for contract workers would be raised to $15 an hour.

I think that this campaign is great that workers are coming together to protest against the current minimum wage. I remember watching a video last year in my Consumer Seminar class about living on minimum wage alone. It is very hard to live on minimum wage alone. These workers literally live paycheck to paycheck. It is hard for these people to even buy certain life necessities. When facing problems like health issues or an accident, living on minimum wage will not cut it and can't support these issues.

Read here

Friday, November 13, 2015

Missouri Mayhem

Recently, a series of racist events occured at the University of Missouri. Students claim that the president, Tim Wolfe. The president did not act or take any action when there were many racial issues across campus. Many students and staff called out the president of the university and he has recently resigned. He claims that he resigned out of "love" for all the people at the school. The students at the school have been divided whether or not it was necessary for Wolfe to resign. The student activist organization #ConcernedStudent1950 are talking and making demands about how the college campus needs a more diverse and safe environment. Many students want the school to make changes. Some students are even going on hunger strikes. This also led to the football team refusing to play. After these events the university board agreed to start a new initiative on campus to promote diversity. Many students feel these changes are pointless or that it is great that the school is changing into a safe environment.

I think the it is great that the school is making these changes in the school environment. Many students have faced a lot of racial problems at school. A number of students talked about how they felt unsafe or unwelcome at school. There were also a number of times where people also felt segregated when on a bus or crossing the street. I think it's important for these measure to be taken because no one wants to feel unsafe or unwelcome in a learning environment. School should be an environment where you feel welcome and excited to learn. However, some students feel these changes are pointless or unecessary. Do you think the measures that were taken are too extreme?

Read more here