Global Issues 2013 - 2014 Cohort Table of Contents 1. Urban Bicycling: The Economic and Environmental Impacts in the San Francisco Bay Area by Alexander Browne…………………………………………………………….……………….…….…1 2. China’s Youth: Let’s Talk About Sex by Courtney Ng…………………………………………………..…………………………………….….25 3. News Coverage in the Middle East: Examining the Biases of Al Jazeera by Francesca Paris…………………………………………………………………….………..……….…45 4. Sierra Leone: Exploring the Advantages and Disadvantages of Foreign Aid in a Developing Country by Hindoveeh Etheridge-Bullie.………………………………………………………………..………....64 5. The Taliban’s Afghanistan: Sharia Law and It’s Religious Justifications by Madeline Cook ……………………………………………………………………….……….……….76 6. Statelessness: An Overview of a Destructive and Preventable Issue by Ramah Ali… ……………………………………………………………………………….………….93 7. The Interface Between Women and Programming by Jocelyn Cheng ……………………………………………………..……………………….………….106 8. The Beautiful Game: Still Rough Around the Edges by Colin Leach ……………………….……………………………………………………….…….…….127 9. The Evolution of Hip Hop: From an Underground Culture to a Global Market by Jordan Perteet …...………………………………………………………………………….………….140 10. Online Learning: The Future of Women’s Education in Saudi Arabia by Pilar O’Brien ……………………………………………………………………………….………….161 11. Asian American Mental Health: The Flaw of the “Model Minority” by Irene Tran ………………………………………….……………………………………….………….175 12. Fighting Climate Change: What Cuba Can Teach Us About Finding Sustainable Solutions by Haley Land-Miller ………………………….……...……………………………………….…………191 13. Exposing Injustice in the Justice System: A Report on Racial Bias in Jury Selection by Olivia Lucas ………………………………….…………………………………………….………….212
Urban Bicycling The Economic and Environmental Impacts In The San Francisco Bay Area By Alexander Browne
Abstract: The past decade has been dominated by the search for a clean, renewable, and economical source of transportation. Climate change has become almost a household term, and around the world people have begun to make efforts to reduce carbon emissions. While many scientists and politicians believe that electric cars and hybrid vehicles are the best solution, they forget that the remedy to all of their problems was invented over one hundred years ago: the bicycle. With improved bike infrastructure, funding, and safety, bicycling can provide an alternative method of transportation that is cost effective, 100 % clean and environmental, and will reduce traffic congestion. San Francisco is a prime example of a city that could benefit enormously from bicycle infrastructure. The ground rose up in front of me as I flew over the handlebars and skidded across a patch of gravel. I winced as sharp pieces of rock dug into my outstretched hands and my knees scraped against the ground. I looked over my shoulder at the convoy of mini-coopers zipping away up and over the hill. I called out obscenities as I struggled to my feet, but not one of the drivers stopped to listen. In a few seconds they had gone over the crest and were lost to sight. It was a beautiful day in sunny Marin County. I had spent the previous hours biking alongside lush green meadows and rolling hills. The sky was clear of all clouds and smog, and I was in an excellent mood as I neared the end of my ride. I was headed down a steep hill on my way to a small town for lunch when the line of mini-coopers appeared out of nowhere from around a bend in the road. All of the sudden one pulled out into my lane, no doubt trying to pass one of its companions. I slammed on my brakes trying to avoid it, but there was nowhere for me to go. I slid across the pavement struggling to maintain control. My heart raced as I imagined flying over the car onto the pavement beyond, or worse, heading under the wheels. At the last minute the mini cooper pulled back into line, perhaps none the wiser to the fear it had instilled on me. It was too late to regain control of my bike; I slid out at the next bend narrowly avoiding a barbed wire fence in the process. I sat down next to my bike for a while after that, wondering what it was that I loved so much about biking. On a bike, you are at the mercy of any crackpot driver that comes your way. You place your life in the hands of others, many who are undeserving and unaware of the impact their actions can have on the exposed bicyclist. Drivers race around riders, disregarding their safety so that they can shave a few minutes off of their
commute time. I bike 18 miles to school rain or shine. When I get to school after my two hour-long bike ride my hands are often covered in grease from resetting my chain and my legs are scrapped from rubbing against the frame with each pedal. My clothes are drenched with sweat on a hot day, or rain on a wet day. My phone slides out of my pocket in the middle of a busy intersection, or my books fall off my bike rack into the most inaccessible ravines. I get a flat tire and miss an appointment, or an angry driver yells at me and puts me in a bad mood. My shoelaces get caught in the spokes and strangle my feet, and my jacket routinely gets caught in the gears coating it in thick grimy grease. Yet biking for me has always been my preferred method of travel. When I was in elementary school it gave me my first sense of freedom, allowing me to visit friends and go into town by myself. Under the right circumstances a good bike ride can be enjoyable and invigorating. You can weave between traffic and often arrive earlier than if you had driven. You can take shortcuts unavailable to cars, and take advantage of secluded bikeways. Even better, biking is by far the cheapest form of transportation around (except for walking, but who wants to walk 30 miles to school?). Once you buy your bike you have potentially unlimited mileage, with no need to buy gas or to pay for ever-rising bus fares. Biking helps save the environment as well by reducing carbon emissions and pollution. It has the potential to be an all-encompassing solution to nearly all of our transportation problems.
A picture from one of my weekend bike rides As Iâ€™ve grown older and began biking more and more often, Iâ€™ve realized that the issues and complaints I have with biking can be addressed. Some require simple
solutions, such as tying my shoes a little tighter and using a waterproof bag on rainy days (both of which I now do routinely), others take a little more work. However, I have great faith that with a little effort and dedication our country, like me, will eventually accept biking as a viable form of transportation, rather than a pastime or hobby. With increased infrastructure and awareness, we can shift our culture from a car centered, gas guzzling frenzy to a society free from smog and exorbitant gas prices. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, Iâ€™ve already seen the beginnings of this transformation. Market Street is now filled with bicyclist daily, new bike lanes are stripped nearly every month and local buses are even equipped with bike racks for longer commutes. While there are many obstacles to a community built around biking, none are insurmountable save the stubbornness of the common man attached to his car. However, with the growing threat of global climate change and decreasing oil reserves, bicycling has become an increasingly better solution to many of our problems. By examining the bike movement in the Bay Area, we can evaluate the effectiveness of current projects designed to increase ridership and examine the need for additional funding for bicycle infrastructure. Furthermore we can observe the local, economic, health, and environmental impacts of biking. The first question that comes to mind when looking at our society today is simple: How did we get here? How has our country changed from a primarily agrarian and rural nation to a bustling throbbing entity dotted with enormous metropolises, the top 25 of which contain over half of the countries population1? In our country, cities and towns were first developed around rivers and bays to facilitate trade and transportation2. Examples of these cities include New York and Boston. As western expansion became a larger priority in the 17th century the government began to finance the construction of bridges, road, and other infrastructure to connect the nation3. While transportation became less and less reliant on the natural topography, people generally lived in close1
McGeough, Una, Doug Newman, and Jay Wrobel. Model for Sustainable Urban
Design. N.p.: Sustainable Energy Planning Office Gas Technology Institute, 2004. 2
McGeough, Una, Doug Newman, and Jay Wrobel. Model for Sustainable Urban Design. N.p.: Sustainable Energy Planning Office Gas Technology Institute, 2004. 3 McGeough, Una, Doug Newman, and Jay Wrobel. Model for Sustainable Urban Design. N.p.: Sustainable Energy Planning Office Gas Technology Institute, 2004.
knit communities and rarely left their immediate residences. Everything changed with the invention of the railroad, car, and subsequent redesign of the nation. New cities and towns began to form alongside the expanding highways and railroad tracks, and being well connected intercity trade skyrocketed. No longer were people bound to the land that they lived on; a farmer could grow his goods miles away from the city that he sold them in on a daily basis. In 1908 Henry Ford invented the Model-T, determined to make the automobile available to the masses4. As more and more families began investing in cars the cities of America swelled outwards and inwardly they began to experience dramatic changes. Roads were paved, streets widened, and rules and laws written to govern traffic. Modern subways made it easier for men and women to live on the outside of town yet work in the center. Distance became less and less of an obstacle as cars grew faster, subways more frequent and roads better paved.
A Graph of U.S. Spending on Transportation (http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/sites/www.intellectualtakeout.org/files/chartgraph/Transportation%20spending.JPG)
Somewhere amidst all of this development and growth the bike became lost to the general populace. The bike first appeared as a method of transportation in America in
McGeough, Una, Doug Newman, and Jay Wrobel. Model for Sustainable Urban
Design. N.p.: Sustainable Energy Planning Office Gas Technology Institute, 2004.
1878 when Columbia Bicycle in Hartford Connecticut, the first American bike store, opened shop5. Their cheapest bikes cost 125 dollars; in comparison a sewing machine sold for only about 13 dollars6. To put it lightly, the bike did not appear to be the most economical method of transport. Within the next two decades bikes became safer, cheaper, and more efficient making them an excellent option for transportation for the average American. Unfortunately the growing bike industry was soon eclipsed by the rapidly expanding car industry. Cars were simply more practical and comfortable, and they became associated with status and affluence. Owning a sparkling new Model-T was a sure fire way to make the neighbor jealous. Bike use fell further behind the car following World War II and the rise of the suburbs in America. All of the sudden the majority of Americans no longer lived within biking distance of their jobs. Cars moved from being a luxury to an absolute necessity. During the following decades America experienced a boom in public transportation and infrastructure. Under the Interstate Highway Act instituted under President Truman an expansive system of roads connecting the states was built. Subway systems were implemented or improved upon in many cities and bus systems expanded their range to include the suburbs. Bikes were increasingly becoming a relic of the past, obsolete, impractical, and unnecessary. That all changed abruptly in 1978. The price of gas unexpectedly skyrocketed largely due to an oil embargo initiated by several Middle Eastern countries. The sharp increase in gas prices foreshadowed a long and tumultuous future for the oil industry; prices would continue to rise and fall abruptly as political unrest and low supply led to an unstable and volatile market. In 1978 the number of bikes sold each year passed the number of cars sold, a surprising accomplishment considering the many obstacles7. For the first time since the invention of the Model-T there was a glimmer of hope for the bike. With rising gas prices and increased congestion, the bike was becoming an increasingly attractive alternative to 5
Mozer, David. "Bicycle History." The International Bicycle Fund. Last modified 19952014. Accessed March 5, 2014. http://www.ibike.org/library/history-timeline.htm.
Ibid. Mozer, David. "Bicycle History." The International Bicycle Fund. Last modified 19952014. Accessed March 5, 2014. http://www.ibike.org/library/history-timeline.htm.
driving. Many families, realizing that gas prices and availability were not as stable as they believed, began investing in bikes, a cheaper and healthier alternative to cars. Soon local governments noticed this increasingly popular mode of transport and began to stripe bike lanes for the first time. Today the bike has become almost familiar to us as a mode of transportation. As we drive to work or school we often see cyclists weaving their way through traffic, and in many cities bike usage is fast closing in on car usage. The question remains, however, how we can continue this pattern of growth and make biking safer, efficient, and more appealing to the general public. With rising fears of climate change and increased congestion, people have started to realize that a perfectly viable solution is right under our noses. With the right infrastructure changes and the right incentives, we can begin the shift from a society centered on the car to a society focused on sustainability and efficiency, where bikes and buses are used for transport in the immediate area and trains and zip cars are used for longer distance. I can see a not so distant future where cars are relics of the past and the streets are filled with bicyclists young and old, making their way safely to wherever they wish to go. The transition to this society would no doubt be difficult, as our cities have been planned and built around cars and buses. There are often few accommodations for bicyclists, and little room remains for their implementation. While many local governments are now attempting to integrate bike lanes into major roads, officials are often forced to remove a lane of traffic or decrease the width of the sidewalk. Buildings cannot simply be moved back to allow for new construction; sacrifices must be made. As taking out a lane in the road can increase automobile traffic, it is not always an appealing solution. For example, on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, many store owners fear that if parking and extra lanes are replaced with bikeways there businesses will suffer. While there fears are unfounded as will be later explained, it is important to realize that installing even a short stretch of bike lane is not a simple matter. The problem of city planning is not a new one. Cities are constantly evolving and changing, but this change is not necessarily uniform. For example, when a city expands outward traffic will inevitably increase throughout the city. Yet, old buildings that are already in place cannot be knocked down with disregard to make room for new roads or modern structures. Furthermore, geography plays a key role in restricting or facilitating
urban growth. American cities have traditionally grown up around rivers and bays. During the rapid western expansion that took place in the 19th century, cities popped up across the continent, sometimes in poorly planned locations8. Following the introduction of the automobile, a rapid expansion of the urban landscape occurred. Cities began to literally overflow with people, leading to the construction of more cities and suburbs surrounding the larger ones. Currently 80 % of the U.S. population resides in urban areas, yet many live outside of the cities where they work. Therefore transportation has become an increasingly relevant issue, and the commute has become an integral part of many peopleâ€™s daily routines. As roads have steadily become more and more congested, the need for a clean, economic, and reliable transportation has become more and more important. While in many cities efforts are geared to the expansion of roads and highways, the implementation of bicycle infrastructure is a viable solution that can reduce congestion. Bikes simply take up less space than cars, the same width of bike lane accommodates far more commuters than the same length of car lane. In some cities, bicycling has already proven to be an attractive alternative to driving. Europe in particular has experienced a sharp rise in gas prices, largely due to increased taxes and demand. Bike share systems have cropped up all over the continent, and provide cheap, convenient transport anywhere within city limits. Citizens simply rent a bike at one location, bike to their job or home, and return the bike at another nearby station. In some cities the yearly cost is as low as 20 euros, in many others it is free altogether. Groningen, a city in the Netherlands, is a perfect example of a city that has effectively replaced cars with bikes as its principal means of transportation9. The city was originally a fortress built to defend against the border with Germany. This artificial containment in the form of city walls limited expansion, and kept the city compact and efficiently designed10. In the early 1970â€™s, lawmakers began implementing various radical reforms to reduce traffic in the city center11. Cars were banned throughout the majority of the city, and traffic was redirected in a circle that rounded the downtown 8
McGeough, Una, Doug Newman, and Jay Wrobel. Model for Sustainable Urban Design. N.p.: Sustainable Energy Planning Office Gas Technology Institute, 2004. 9 Groningen the World's Cycling City. Street Films, 2013. 10 11
Groningen the World's Cycling City. Street Films, 2013. Ibid.
area12. The effect was dramatic: bikes became the city’s principal method of transportation. Today, over 50 % of all trips are made by bike, and the average person bikes 1.4 times a day13. Foreigners walking through the city are amazed at how few cars there are. Groningen is not a unique case; all over Europe many cities have begun to encourage bicycling as a means of transportation. In Copenhagen, bicycle safety is incorporated into the Driver’s Education program. Biking has become the fastest and cheapest way to get around there because of high gas prices and low parking availability. Bike share programs in particular have begun to increase ridership in major cities and are viewed as an ideal solution to congestion in cities. Bike share programs are relatively cheap and easy to maintain when compared to other infrastructure and provide a fast and convenient method of transport. Bike share programs have actually been around much longer than most people think, the first emerging in Amsterdam in the mid 1960’s. While it was a complete disaster due to theft and vandalism, soon the system adapted to meet each new problem until the program became a success. According to one journal of public transportation, “Bike-sharing has had profound affects on creating a larger cycling population, increasing transit use, decreasing greenhouse gases, and improving public health”14. Unfortunately America is behind in taking advantage of all the potential that lies in city bike share programs. Of the top ten most effective bike share programs in the world, three are in Asia, five are in Europe, and two are in Canada and the Middle East. Sadly not a single American city made the list. While a few major cities such as New York and Washington D.C. have begun to implement programs, the U.S. as a whole has fallen behind15. When compared to other countries, it is clear that biking has not been as effectively incorporated into the transportation system. Yet, there are few reasons why biking should not play a greater role in transportation nationwide.
Groningen the World's Cycling City. Street Films, 2013. Ibid. 14 DeMaio, Paul. Bike-sharing: History, Impacts, Models of Provision, and Future. Journal of Public Transportation, vol. 12, no. 4. Copenhagen, Denmark: MetroBike, 2009. 13
No matter which way you look at it, San Francisco is a remarkable city. Tourists flock from around the globe to view the pristine San Francisco bay and iconic Golden Gate Bridge. The food is unrivaled, the culture rich and interesting. To the unknowing visitor San Francisco would seem to be a perfect paradise, free from stress and conflict. Residents, however, are privy to a different side of the city. Citizens of San Francisco have become increasingly frustrated over major congestion, a high frequency of accidents, and poor infrastructure investment. San Francisco is essentially the center of the Bay Area; people from all over the bay commute daily to work in the city’s center. Entrance into the city is dominated by three major routes: The San Francisco Bay Bridge, The Golden Gate Bridge, and highway 101 leading north from the south bay. Nearly every major transportation system converges on San Francisco; almost every BART line (the local train system) runs through downtown and buses enter the city from every point of access on a daily basis. Just as all of America experienced a rapid growth of suburbs surrounding major cities, so to did San Francisco. The city’s roads are near full capacity, and lawmakers around that bay have been pondering methods to solve the commuting crisis that affects so many Bay Area citizens. Surprisingly few leaders have realized that the solution to San Francisco’s traffic problem is right under our noses. Biking could be the simple solution to a widespread problem affecting nearly everyone who lives in the bay area. San Francisco is a particularly interesting case study when it comes to bicycling because of its markedly high number of bicyclists along with its astonishing lack of key infrastructure. While trips by bike account for approximately 3 % of all trips taken in San Francisco, only 4.2 million dollars of the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency’s budget of 851 million are invested in bicycle infrastructure16. That’s only 0.49 % of the transportation budget. San Francisco’s per capita spending on bicycle transportation is 9.16 $, a little below half of Amsterdam’s whopping 22.44 $ investment17. The question we must ask ourselves is why San Francisco has chosen to invest so little in bicycle infrastructure, and if that lack of funding is in turn reducing ridership. According to the 16
Sabatini, Joshua. "Lack of Cycling Infrastructure Investment in SF Could Impact Popularity as Transit Mode." The San Francisco Examiner (San Francisco, CA), December 5, 2013, Transportation.
SFMTA, funding and ridership are intrinsically linked. In a report published in 2013, the SFMTA stated that an increase in trips made by bike to 10 % would require an investment of about 191 million dollars18. Appropriate investment could have a clear and tangible impact on transportation in San Francisco, yet many leaders quail when faced with cutting automobile investments. Yet when spread out over a few years, an investment of this size is actually quite manageable. The agency hopes to reach this goal by 2018 by increasing funding for bike lanes and protected intersections each year19. San Francisco is a perfect example of an American city that has fallen behind other major metropolises in the global bike movement. Furthermore, it has one of the worst bicycle safety records in the country.
A chart of the types of trips made in San Francisco (Graphic from the San Francisco Bike Coalition) A major deterrent to commuting to school or work by bike is the abundance of bicycle accidents and many roads that are simply unsafe for bicyclists. Safety is a larger issue than many people realize, and its not going away. A recent study found that bike crashes have increased by 8% in the last two years, while ridership increased by 3%20. In
City of San Francisco SFMTA. 2011 Bicycle Count Report. By Peter Brown. Edited by Timothy Papandreou. San Francisco, CA: n.p., 2011.
Ibid. The U.S. Federal Government The U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic Safety Facts 2011 Data.
fact, the problem isn’t limited to San Francisco. The National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration reported in 2002 that bicycle accidents made up about 1.5 % of all traffic related fatalities21. Nine years later, in 2011, bike accidents were responsible for 2.1 % of fatalities22. Each year bicycles have accounted for more and more traffic related accidents as car designs become safer and safer, yet bicycle infrastructure remains incomplete and unreliable. 72 % of these deaths occur in urban areas and densely populated cities where limited space and funding has hindered new construction23. The rise in bicycle accidents can be attributed to increased ridership without the addition of critical bike lanes to accommodate all the new riders. In San Francisco specifically 26 % of bicyclists have been involved in a collision, underlying the need for change24. The issue of bicycle safety will have to be resolved eventually if bicycling is to become a viable method of transport, not just for commuters but also children on their way to school and inexperienced cyclists looking for a convenient method of transportation. Despite the lack of infrastructure and poor safety record, it has become increasingly clear that citizens are ready and willing to begin biking more. In the last seven years (since 2006), ridership has increased in San Francisco by an astounding 96%25. Furthermore, current infrastructure developments have already begun to show evidence of increasing ridership. At three major San Francisco intersections ridership was shown to have increased dramatically when the intersections were modified to protect bicyclists from traffic. For example, at Portola and O’Shaughnessy bicycle traffic increased by 83 percent in two years, in part because of the implementation of a new bike
Washington D.C., U.S.: NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, 2013. PDF. 21
Ibid. Ibid. 23 The U.S. Federal Government The U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic Safety Facts 2011 Data. Washington D.C., U.S.: NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, 2013. PDF. 22
Report Card on Bicycling. San Francisco: San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, 2006. City of San Francisco SFMTA. 2011 Bicycle Count Report. By Peter Brown. Edited by Timothy Papandreou. San Francisco, CA: n.p., 2011. 25
lane26. Bicycle use increased by 78 % at Page and Stanyan when a Signal was adapted to include bicyclists27. The study shows that infrastructure changes do have a huge impact and ridership. As the SFMTA continues to invest in bike lanes and intersections, ridership will no doubt increase further justifying the increase in spending.
A graphic illustrating the dramatic increase in bike ridership (http://earthandindustry.com/files/2012/02/sf-bike-survey-6.jpg) There are undoubtedly many obstacles to bicycle reform in San Francisco. A truly massive overhaul would be needed to meet the SFMTAâ€™s eventual goal of 20% of all trips being made by bike (It has long term plans for cars to make up only 11% of all travel)28. Yet the day is not far off when San Francisco will be physically capable of accommodating bicyclists. If the proper steps are taken to properly fund bicycle infrastructure projects, all of the problems facing bicyclist will disappear. The correct infrastructure can resolve traffic congestion, improve bicyclist safety, reduce carbon
Ibid. City of San Francisco SFMTA. 2011 Bicycle Count Report. By Peter Brown. Edited by Timothy Papandreou. San Francisco, CA: n.p., 2011. 28 City of San Francisco SFMTA. 2011 Bicycle Count Report. By Peter Brown. Edited by Timothy Papandreou. San Francisco, CA: n.p., 2011. 27
emissions, and start San Francisco on the road to becoming one of the most bike friendly cities in the world. In the past few years bicycle infrastructure has improved dramatically all over the bay. One particular accomplishment is the implementation of a new Bay Area Bike Share program. While the program is currently somewhat limited in size, it has the potential for growth. Already citizens in San Francisco can purchase a yearly pass for as low as 88 dollars a year and have unlimited trips across downtown San Francisco29. The next step is to spread the program to the East Bay and hopefully increase the number of stations to improve convenience. However, for the bike share program to be successful, the right infrastructure will need to be installed. Luckily, the Bay Area has many organizations dedicated to bicycle advocacy. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has been advocating for a more bike friendly city since 1971, making it one of the oldest bike coalitions in the country30. Currently, it is striving to create a comprehensive network of bike lanes that would unite the city and facilitate travel by bike to virtually any location in San Francisco. The coalitionâ€™s Connect the City project ambitiously hopes to connect all existing bike routes and add in several key lanes to protect bicyclists on busy roads31. Across the bay, the East Bay Bicycle Coalition is working to construct more bike lanes connecting the east bay and eventually hopes to make the Bay Bridge accessible to bikes. While the new span from Oakland to Treasure Island has a brand new bike lane, the second half of the bridge is closed to bicyclists hindering those who would like to commute by bike. A complete route to San Francisco would truly impact transportation across the Bay as a new alternative to BART and driving would be available to the enormous population in the East Bay that commutes to San Francisco on a daily basis. Perhaps the most important step to increasing bicycle ridership in the Bay Area is the implementation of new bike lanes and routes. As stated previously, this will improve safety and encourage more people to commute by bike. What many people are unaware of, however, is that implementing bicycle infrastructure is actually very economical. The 29
SFMTA. "About Bay Area Bike Share." Bay Area Bike Share. Last modified 2013. Accessed April 10, 2014. https://bayareabikeshare.com/about. 30 San Francisco Bike Coalition. "The Routes." Connecting the City. Accessed April 3, 2014. http://www.connectingthecity.org/routes/. 31 Ibid.
national bicycle industry contributes 133 billion dollars a year to the U.S. economy, and increases local tourism32. Bike lanes accommodate seven to twelve times as many people per meter of lane, and cost as little as 5,000 dollars per mile33. In comparison, Caltrans recently paid 75 million dollars to repave only three miles of Interstate 71034. When compared to the high costs of road maintenance and construction, bike lanes are incredibly affordable and well worth the investment. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition recently calculated that one mile of protected bike way (a bike lane physically separated from the road to protect bicyclists) is 100 times cheaper than one mile of roadway35. Bike lanes can be easily implemented in San Francisco at a relatively low cost, if only the proper funding was directed towards bicycle infrastructure. Besides being cheap to construct, recent studies have also shown that bike lanes actually boost local economies. For example, the state of Wisconsin is estimated to generate 533 million dollars from bicycle tourism annually36. San Francisco already has the beautiful views to draw visitors, but if infrastructure was improved even more people could be drawn in and enticed by safe, open bikeways that allowed them to better view the city. Besides attracting tourists, bicycling is actually beneficial for local businesses as well. A 2009 study conducted by the city of Toronto reported that people who walk and bike spend more money than drivers37. Similarly, the city of Pittsburg Pennsylvania reported a 19 percent increase in sales tax revenues immediately following the construction of a new bike way38. Encouraging citizens to bike more can help boost the economy and spending. Furthermore, bicycling helps the average citizen save a significant amount of money. For every mile someone bikes they save approximately
Economic Impact. N.p.: Adventure Cycling Association, 2014. Flusche, Darren. The Economic Benefits of Bicycle Infrastructure Investments. N.p.: League of American Bicyclists, 2009. 34 Flusche, Darren. The Economic Benefits of Bicycle Infrastructure Investments. N.p.: League of American Bicyclists, 2009. 35 Shahan, Zachary. "1 Mile of Protected Bikelane Is 100X Cheaper than 1 Mile of Road." Treehugger. Last modified March 13, 2014. Accessed April 24, 2014. http://www.treehugger.com/bikes/ 36 Economic Impact. N.p.: Adventure Cycling Association, 2014. 37 Economic Benefits of Bicycling in Urban Environments. Fairfax, CA: Marin County Bicycle Coalition, n.d. 38 Economic Benefits of Bicycling in Urban Environments. Fairfax, CA: Marin County Bicycle Coalition, n.d. 33
2.73 dollars, as the need for gas and parking is eliminated39. Many small changes to San Francisco that facilitate biking can have large impacts on the local economy. There are few reasons to not create more bike lanes when their construction directly impacts the economy in a positive way.
A graphic explaining how money from the auto industry leaves local economies (http://grist.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/ic_city_graph_large.jpg) Constructing these bike lanes also helps create significantly more jobs than the paving and construction of roads. A study conducted by the University of Massachusetts found that for each million dollars spent on bicycle infrastructure, about 11.4 jobs were created40. The same amount of money used only to construct roads created only 7.8 jobs
Ibid. Garrett-Peltier, Heidi. Pedestrian and Bicycle Infrastructure: A National Study of Employment Impacts. Amherst, MA: Political Economy Research Institute, 2011.
on average41. If San Francisco were to stripe more bike lanes and improve the city’s bike lane network, this research suggests that more jobs would be created providing an additional boost to the economy. Bicycling can address nearly all of the Bay Area’s traffic problems. If there is one thing I’ve learned from the extensive variety of publications, studies, and research reports, it is that there are no concrete reasons to not expand the Bay Area’s bicycle infrastructure. Currently, the expansion of cycling is severely hindered by concerns over safety and inconvenience. A comprehensive system of bike lanes could solve both of these problems and lead the San Francisco Bay Area into a brighter future free from traffic jams, smog, and congestion. Bikes provide a safe, cheap alternative to cars as a method of transportation. While arguments can be made for other solutions such as more fuel efficient cars and faster public transportation, they are all at best temporary fixes to a larger problem and at worst costly and ineffective. When all is said and done, bikes are the way to go. When I began writing this paper, I spent quite a bit of time pondering the question of how to convince more people to bike. I was confused as to why bicycling had become so much more popular in other cities and countries when to me San Francisco had always seemed to be a haven for environmentalism and green technology. However, as I began to conduct more and more research and talk with activists around the bay, I realized that low ridership is not a result of a lack of willingness to bike. Rather, bicycling has simply become too inconvenient and dangerous. I am certain that if bike lanes are built, the people will come. After all, as gas prices continue to rise and parking become scarcer and scarcer, people will always look for viable alternatives. I have great faith that the people of our community will soon come to their senses and see the obvious solution laid out before them. When they do, they will no doubt turn their head to the dusty corner of their garage and see their old and forgotten bike leaning against the wall, waiting patiently for its time to come.
Garrett-Peltier, Heidi. Pedestrian and Bicycle Infrastructure: A National Study of Employment Impacts. Amherst, MA: Political Economy Research Institute, 2011.
Bibliography Burgesonand, John, and Vinti Singh. "A Mix of Bike-friendly Streets and Dangerous Roads." The San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco, CA), February 12, 2012. Accessed April 2, 2014. http://www.extra.sfgate.com/default/article/A-mix-ofbike-friendly-streets-and-dangerous-roads-3307755.php. This is a highly relevant article that talks about bike safety on the roads. The included personal stories are interesting and helped me to better understand the risks involved with biking. The article also talks about the safe routes to school program which is very important to recruiting bicyclists at an early age. City of San Francisco SFMTA. 2011 Bicycle Count Report. By Peter Brown. Edited by Timothy Papandreou. San Francisco, CA: n.p., 2011. This is an incredibly valuable report, it provides excellent data on which streets and avenues in San Francisco are most used by bicyclists and shows the drastic increase in ridership over the past few years. The methodology of the report is excellent; it conforms to the national bicycle and pedestrian documentation project guidelines. 41 locations were manually counted over the course of two weeks for several years. Counts were taken during good weather that would not negatively impact ridership. This report also includes excellent data regarding bicyclists riding improperly (i.e. no helmet, wrong way, on side walk etc). This is a great source that I believe is reliable and accurate. DeMaio, Paul. Bike-sharing: History, Impacts, Models of Provision, and Future. Journal of Public Transportation, vol. 12, no. 4. Copenhagen, Denmark: MetroBike, 2009. This is a very interesting source that provides a thorough and well researched history of bike share from the early manifestations to the modern day systems that we see in cities like Paris, Barcelona and Amsterdam. The history is particularly interesting as there were many large and seemingly insurmountable problems with the early bike share programs. The solutions are clearly outlined as the paper continues, and the rise in popularity is attributed to system improvements. The report argues that bike share systems are an excellent solution to many local transportation issues such as traffic, pollution, and CO2 emissions. The report
finishes by stating that the future of these systems is bright, and we will no doubt encounter more of them. Indeed, only several months ago San Francisco implemented the first steps of a city wide bike share program. Economic Benefits of Bicycling in Urban Environments. Fairfax, CA: Marin County Bicycle Coalition, n.d. This is a very interesting source that provides a concise and well written summary of the beneficial economic impacts of bicycling. While it does not address possible disadvantages to the economy such as the oil and car industry, it provides excellent research and data regarding the health impacts, small business impacts, and quality of life impacts. The source appears to be accurate and well researched, it provides ample evidence to support its claims from credible sources such as Marin county government, U.C. Davis, and the American trail conservation society. Economic Impact. N.p.: Adventure Cycling Association, 2014. This is a short but well written research report on how bicycling contributes to various local economies. This report is very relevant to my research and supports other sources I have found. The source seems reliable and well researched. Flusche, Darren. The Economic Benefits of Bicycle Infrastructure Investments. N.p.: League of American Bicyclists, 2009. This is absolutely an incredible source; it will be invaluable to my project. This report includes detailed arguments for the implementation of bicycle infrastructure with ample evidence, data, and statistics. The article is obviously well researched and clearly written. I am including the link below to the PDF: http://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/livablecommunities/learn/transportation/economic-benefits-bicycle-infrastructurereport.pdf Garrett-Peltier, Heidi. Pedestrian and Bicycle Infrastructure: A National Study of Employment Impacts. Amherst, MA: Political Economy Research Institute, 2011.
This is an incredible report that has excellent research nationwide about the positive economic impacts of bicycle infrastructure. This report is very detailed, conducted in a well though out and professional manner, with truly excellent observations and conclusions. The researchers gathered data in 11 cities and made inquires into state and city records regarding bike lanes, their implementation, cost, and employment benefits. The report essentially concludes that instituting bicycle infrastructure produces a number of jobs, boosting the economy. Road infrastructure ironically creates fewer jobs per million spent. The thesis of this paper is incredibly relevant to my project, and this source is very interesting and useful. Groningen the World's Cycling City. Street Films, 2013. This is a very interesting documentary that provides excellent information regarding early implementation of bicycle infrastructure. The documentary provides and ideal example of what could have happened world wide had the appropriate actions been taken. This documentary is actually what first got me thinking about the global bike movement. It is well researched and lays out all of the facts very clearly. It is enjoyable to watch and very informative. It was put together by street films, an organization that observes and reports on the global bike movement worldwide in the form of short documentaries. I will no doubt rewatch this film several times over before the month is done. Helms, Sara. Interview by Alex Browne. The Head Royce School Oakland, CA. April 22, 2014. I talked with Sara briefly about how easy and convenient biking is in Copenhagen Denmark. It was interesting to hear how so many people bike to work regularly, and how bicycle safety is incorporated with taking the driver's test. Her interview helped me better understand a good example of a city where biking has been successfully incorporated. Hinds, Kate, and Casey Miner. "San Francisco Bike Accidents Rise Faster than the Rate of Cycling; Bay Citizen Maps Crash Data." WNYC. Last modified February 8,
2011. Accessed April 1, 2014. http://www.wnyc.org/story/285480-san-franciscobike-accidents-rise-faster-than-the-rate-of-cycling-bay-citizen-maps-crash-data/. This is a highly relevant news article from New York Public Radio that supports the need for bicycle infrastructure. Good data is provided showing the disparity between the increase in bike ridership and the increases in accidents. The sharp rise in accidents suggests that a solution is needed to protect the thousands of bike riders in San Francisco. Lebetkin, Mark. "Best Bike-Sharing Cities in the World." USA Today, October 1, 2013. This source helped me understand which cities standout in the world in terms of their city bike share programs. It was a bit sad to see that no American cities were included in the top ten, but that fact will be useful for my argument. I was also surprised to learn that many of the best cities are in Asia. ———. "Best Bike-Sharing Cities in the World." USA Today (McLean, VA), October 1, 2013. This is a helpful source that relates to bike share programs in general and specific cites that can set an example for the rest of us. The source seems reliable and is concisely written with good supporting facts. Martin, Kurt Wallace. "Bike Lanes Create Jobs." The San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco, CA), June 24, 2013. Accessed April 2, 2014. http://blog.sfgate.com/bicycle/2011/06/24/bike-lanes-create-jobs/. This is a concise but very helpful article that talks about the costs of creating bike lanes compared to the cost of paving roads. It argues that bike lanes are much cheaper and economical than roads, an interesting point that contradicts the practices of many transit agencies. This article is very relevant to my article, and will be very useful. McGeough, Una, Doug Newman, and Jay Wrobel. Model for Sustainable Urban Design. N.p.: Sustainable Energy Planning Office Gas Technology Institute, 2004.
This is an excellent source that provides detailed and accurate historical context for my project. The report is primarily about how we design our cities and how transportation, sustainability, and government all affect the final outcome. This source will be very useful for my historical summary. Mozer, David. "Bicycle History." The International Bicycle Fund. Last modified 19952014. Accessed March 5, 2014. http://www.ibike.org/library/history-timeline.htm. This is a very thorough source, well written with an excellent explanation of the real origin of the bicycle. Throughout history there have been many myths of early bikes; this source goes through them systematically and debunks them citing credible historical research. The rise of the bicycle can be effectively tied to the various innovations that occurred throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, and this source gives me some excellent background knowledge. "Protected Intersections for Bicyclists." Protected Intersections for Bicyclists. Video file, 5:58. Posted by Nick Falbo, 2014. Accessed March 6, 2014. http://www.protectedintersection.com/. This is a very interesting proposal and design that I would love to see implemented in the bay area. It would really reduce accidents, and it would make biking just that much safer. This video lays out a revolutionary design for an intersection that caters to bikes. There are protected curbs and islands that increase visibility and safety. The design is well explained, and each facet is given a detailed explanation. This is a very interesting source. Report Card on Bicycling. San Francisco: San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, 2006. This is a very useful source that provides a clear and concise summary of bicycling, safety, infrastructure, accidents, and new developments throughout San Francisco. The source seems reliable and very well researched. Sabatini, Joshua. "Lack of Cycling Infrastructure Investment in SF Could Impact Popularity as Transit Mode." The San Francisco Examiner (San Francisco, CA), December 5, 2013, Transportation.
This is a very useful source that sheds some light on the SFMTA's annual budget and how they spend it. Apparently very little funding goes to bicycle projects, yet the article suggests that a surprising number of trips in the city are made by bike. This article seems reliable and well researched. San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. "Connecting the City." The San Francisco Bicycle Coaltion. Last modified 2014. Accessed April 3, 2014. http://www.sfbike.org/?connectingthecity. This site provides useful information on current plans to improve bike infrastructure in the city. The SF Bike coalition is an excellent organization that is truly doing great work to improve bike ridership and convenience throughout the city. Their plans for over 100 miles of continuous bike lanes could revolutionize the city and make biking to work much safer and easier. San Francisco Bike Coalition. "The Routes." Connecting the City. Accessed April 3, 2014. http://www.connectingthecity.org/routes/. This is a very interesting project run by the SF Bike coalition that has highly relevant and interesting information regarding the attempt to better connect San Francisco with bike lanes. The project is very ambitious, but could have a huge impact on transportation in the city. San Francisco Planning Department. "Transportation Element." San Francisco Planning. Last modified February 3, 2005. Accessed April 10, 2014. http://www.sfplanning.org/ftp/General_Plan/I4_Transportation.htm#TRA_HIS. This is an incredible source from the city of San Francisco that provides excellent information on the history of transportation in the city. It is a reliable well written, and very detailed source that will help me a lot with my summary of San Francisco City Planning. Sellers, Christopher. "Cities and Suburbs." The National Humanities Center. Last modified February 2010. Accessed March 6, 2014. http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/tserve/nattrans/ntuseland/essays/citsubs.htm.
This is an interesting and well written article on the rise of the suburbs which in recent years has proven to be the principal obstacle to growth in bicycle use. This information will help with my historical summary and give me a better understanding of the historical circumstances that contribute to and hinder the global bike movement. SFMTA. "About Bay Area Bike Share." Bay Area Bike Share. Last modified 2013. Accessed April 10, 2014. https://bayareabikeshare.com/about. This is a great program that I am very interested in. The site is well designed and helps to explain how the system works and how people can begin joining. This source will be very useful when I explain the impact bike share could have in San Francisco. Shahan, Zachary. "1 Mile of Protected Bikelane Is 100X Cheaper than 1 Mile of Road." Treehugger. Last modified March 13, 2014. Accessed April 24, 2014. http://www.treehugger.com/bikes/1-mile-protected-bike-lane-100x-cheaper-1mile-roadway-chart.html. This is an interesting web site with a very cool graphic explaining how cheap and easy it is to implement bicycle infrastructure. The U.S. Federal Government The U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic Safety Facts 2011 Data. Washington D.C., U.S.: NHTSAâ€™s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, 2013. PDF. This is a very relevant and interesting document that explains the percentage of bicycle fatalities by state, gender, age, location, and cause. This is a very reliable source with ample evidence and good methodology. The report provides an interesting percentage describing the number of bicycle casualties in relation to car causalities. The data is very interesting. This report will be very useful for my analysis on bicycle safety and my historical summary.
China’s Youth: Let’s Talk About Sex Courtney Ng
May 9 , 2014 th
Abstract I was interested in writing my research paper on sex education in China because of my middle school experience with sex-ed and Ivy Chen, my current work with Forward Together in Oakland, and my connection to my Chinese heritage. The paper contains background on the history of sex education in China and why its negative views have developed, the one child policy, the negative effects that the lack of sex education has caused for young people in China, and how China is currently attempting to alter those negative views and implement better sex-ed curriculums in all schools.
China’s Youth: Let’s Talk About Sex It was time. I had been dreading this moment all year. I walked slowly and tentatively into the classroom, looked around, and unfortunately found no comfort. This scene was too familiar. Not this again. I painfully thought back to spring of sixth grade when I was forced to attend my first sex education class. The girls sat in a circle surrounding my homeroom teacher. The moment she said “periods” with a tentative tone, I felt my insides cringe. Forty minutes later, I left that class feeling more awkward than when I had arrived. Now, I would have to experience this horrendous feeling for a second time.
Class began and I sank into my seat like the Titanic, slow and heavy. But Ivy
Chen, the teacher, was not like my former homeroom teacher; she appeared more self-‐confident and jubilant. The light reflecting off of her dark black hair gave her a luminescent glow; there was something special about her. Her ear-‐to-‐ear smile radiated a sense of comfort and approachability, while her erect posture confirmed Ivy Chen teaching a class of eighth graders at Archway School.
her confidence. Not to mention, she was Asian, so I naturally felt a sense of cultural connection to her. I still felt incredibly uncomfortable listening to the embarrassing laughs of my classmates, but somehow Ivy continued to teach in her positive and
uplifting tone. She asked, “Can anyone tell me the correct way
to put in a tampon?” Girls looked around the room at each other with faces full of shame. A boy yelled out jokingly, “Don’t you just stick it up there?” and his friends laughed by his side. Ivy responded with a smile, “Close! But there’s a little more detail to it.” Ivy’s down to earth, confident manner gradually began to untie the knot
in my stomach. The way she talked about sex education enabled me to appreciate my body with all of its changes and freed me from the constrictive feelings I had developed from my first experience with sex-‐ed. Coming from a Chinese heritage, my mom always told me how sex was never a topic she discussed with her parents. I shared that reserve, but I left the class finally feeling proud to be a young female. Ivy Chen’s courage to go against conservative Asian culture and become a sex-‐education teacher inspired me. In traditional Chinese culture sex and sex education is viewed as a taboo topic. The inner strength Ivy unlocked within me became the foundation for my current passion. A few years after this experience, I wanted to pursue volunteer work related to sex education and decided to reach out to Ivy Chen for direction. She directed me to a non-‐profit organization called Forward Together. My work with Forward Together’s youth program, CORE, focuses on incorporating comprehensive sex-‐education into the Oakland Unified School District. I work with twenty Oakland high school students who identify as Asian and come from both similar and different cultural backgrounds as I do. In the youth program we focus on building our campaign, called Sex Ed The City, that promotes the need for comprehensive sex-‐ed in all public schools. At Head-‐Royce School, sex education starts in sixth grade with homeroom teachers. In seventh and eighth students attend a week of sex education taught by Ivy Chen and in high school all students attend a class taught by Charis Dennison twice a year. Forward Together helped me discover what I am most passionate about and led me to the topic of my research paper. Sex education for adolescents is a crucial aspect in their childhood and maturing process, and I am aware that many young people around the world do not receive any form of sexual education. I have directed my research to the case of China because I am personally familiar with the traditional views surrounding sex .As a Chinese American, I am familiar with both the American and Chinese lifestyle, and have become aware of the cultural differences surrounding the topic of sex education. For example, my mother and her parents never talked about sex or even puberty when she was a child. My mother was forced to learn either on her own, through friends, or from her older sisters. In addition, I have Asian friends whose parents are immigrants and do not believe in discussing the topic of sex with their
children. These experiences with the Chinese American population have led me to the three essential questions of my paper: What are the cultural traditions and perspectives of sex education in China? Why do the youth of China need to have a comprehensive sex education? How is China attempting to reconstruct and improve its sex education curriculum and what step are they taking to spread awareness of the issue? Traditional Chinese perceptions of sex are that it is a taboo topic; therefore, sex education is viewed as a negative influence. The controversy centers on the assumption that we will be fostering promiscuity if students learn about sex and preventing against disease and unwanted pregnancy. As a result, China’s sex education and HIV/AIDS prevention curriculum lags years behind other developed countries.1 Specialist Gao Zhenqian believes that the instruction of condom use is inappropriate for middle school students and a sensitive topic for parents.1 She says that if children are taught practical use of condoms their curiosity and strong instinctive sexual desires will lead them to conduct uncontrollable acts of regret, which in turn will increase the risk of sex among young students.1 Head-‐Royce Chinese teacher, Ying Gong, who was born and raised in China talks about the ideology of sex education in China: “Sex education is definitely a taboo, and the teachers and parents are expecting you to find out when you ‘grow up’. Well, I never "found out" until I almost graduated from college. It is viewed this way since China is such a conservative country. Things are changing these days, but talking about sex publicly is still a shame.”2 A specific study conducted in Sweden showed that condom instructions taught in textbooks cause children to have first-‐time sex at a much earlier age.1 Another expert on the subject, Zhu Xinmei, says that HIV/AIDS textbooks depict the disease in a graphic way that is not healthy for the psychological and physical health of students.1 These experts believe that sex education curriculum should focus on premarital abstinence and sexual morality.1 Modern Express expert, Wang Yan, expresses her feelings on the current textbook taught to middle school students in China. The book consists of HIV/AIDS prevention, abstinence advocacy, and instruction on condom use. She believes that
the textbook is full of contradictions that are actually beneficial to the students.1 The contradictions1show the education departments’ cautious view on sex education. They are giving students knowledge about STI’s, but not giving too much information on sexual matters that could result in sexual curiosity; for example, they discourage acting on sexual impulses. Yet, with the current information age students have the ability to search for their own knowledge, if interested.1 Another barrier to sex-‐education is the test-‐centered curriculum. China puts so much emphasis on the National University Entrance Exam that there is no incentive for teachers to teach sex education. Since the exam does not test on sex education educators do not believe it is a necessary subject.3 In general, Chinese parents and teachers do not talk to their children and students about sex related topics. The government has concerns over media entertainment that is viewed as “unhealthy” because it shows too much promiscuity or acts of sexual pleasure.3 The summer of 2009, the government ordered that only certain websites can provide information about sex, and that computers in public places must have censoring software, called Green Dam Youth Escort, that bans porn and homosexuality related content.3 The negative views that the Chinese have developed, regarding sex education, stems from a long history of suffering and controlling governments. In ancient China, sex was thought of as one of the most powerful forms of healing
http://images-‐ eu.amazon.com/images/P/1570620806.02.LZ ZZZZZZ.jpg
Beijing Review (Beijing, China). “Is Sex Education Appropriate for Middle School Students?” January 25, 2007, Forum. Accessed April 1, 2014. http://www.bjreview.com.cn/forum/txt/200701/25/content_53732_2.htm. 2 Gong, Ying. Interview by the author. Head-Royce School Oakland, CA. 3 Tsai, Michelle. “Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex (But Didn’t Learn Because You Grew Up in China).” Slate. Last modified November 4, 2009. Accessed March 6, 2014. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/dispatches/2009/11/everything_you_always_wa nted_to_know_about_sex_but_didnt_learn_because_you_grew_up_in_china.2.html.
medicine.4 Emperor Huang Ti, 2697 to 259 B.C., is credited for earliest Chinese writings on sex, which discussed equality amongst females and males, sexuality as an expression, and how achieving sexual harmony would lead to a properly run family and community.4 These texts became the forerunner for sex education. Some books published around 200 B.C. described human sexual response, sexual techniques, prevention of sexual dysfunction, and how to adjust level of sexual activity.5 Unfortunately, sexual attitudes began to change in the 12th century, during the Song Dynasty.5 The government began to control its citizens’ sexual lives and restrict sexual expression as a way to display its ultimate power.5 Eventually, sexual conservatism became so pervasive that any discussion about sexuality was considered taboo. In 1949, when the Communist’s took over, they implemented the idea that sex practices, including sex education, were forms of bourgeois indulgence.4,6 Communist hostility towards sex education forced generations of young people to grow up with little to no knowledge about sex. They were taught that any discussion of sex was shameful.7 The scarce number of sex information booklets and pamphlets that were sold during the mid 1900’s consisted of mainly love, courtship, sex in marriage, and forced the ideology of abstinence unless trying to procreate.4 There was very little information on sexual pleasure or safe sex. In addition, the Cultural Revolution continued to ban all forms of bourgeois influence.4 Non-‐procreative sexual practices were deemed illegal and the government exemplified this law by producing campaign posters.4 The Cultural Revolution engrained the mindset that sex was use for procreation alone, and this was used to further Mao’s agenda for a great society. Another way the Chinese government enforced their power over sexual actions amongst their citizens is with the One Child Policy. China’s One-‐Child Policy is one of its most well-‐known and somewhat successful (albeit controversial) social initiatives. Soon after the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the government believed that it was capable of finding a solution to any problem coming its way, even overpopulation.8 But soon enough, population growth began to take a toll on the food supply.8 After suffering a famine
that resulted in 30 million deaths, the government successfully pushed under the slogan “Late, Long, and Few”.8 Unfortunately, its benefits soon leveled off and more2drastic measures were needed. The One-‐Child Policy was introduced in 1979, and required couples from China’s A propaganda poster promoting the One-‐Child Policy.
ethnic Han majority to have only one child.8 To this day the law still stands, but adherence and enforcement varies depending on where people live. Couples can be fined thousands of dollars for having more than one child without a permit or are sometimes forced
http://l3.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/XGh1KJzgoi.qwUx3_5lyeQ-‐-‐ /YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTYzMA-‐-‐ /http://media.zenfs.com/en/blogs/thesideshow/onechild.jpg
to have abortions or to be sterilized.8 In some cities, the law
even awards couples that volunteer to only have one child.8 Since the law was implemented in 1979 about 250 million births have been prevented and has saved China from a population explosion.8 Conversely, the policy has also been noted for its negative social consequences, particularly sex discrimination. In Chinese culture, boys are valued more than girls, which result in many female infanticides.8 After 1986, when ultrasounds and abortions were more common, the gender imbalance in China widened.8 To help prevent this phenomenon, China banned prenatal sex
Dunas, Felice, Dr. “A Brief History of Sex as Medicine in China.” Yang Sheng (Nurturing Life). Last modified July 15, 2011. Accessed March 5, 2014. http://yang-sheng.com/?p=3576. 5 Li, Ying, Randall R. Cottrell, Donald I. Wagner, and Maosheng Ban. “Needs and Preferences regarding Sex Education among Chinese College Students: A Preliminary Study.” International Family Planning Perspectives 30, no. 3 (2004). Accessed February 22, 2014. http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/3012804.html. 6 Guo, Wei, Zheng Wu, Yue Qiu, Gong Chen, and Xiaoying Zheng. “The Timing of Sexual Debut Among Chinese Youth.” International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 38, no. 4 (December 2010): 196-204. Accessed March 11, 2014. http://jstor.org/stable/23343637. 7 Aresu, Alessandra. “Sex Education in Modern and Contemporary China: Interrupted Debates across the Last Century.” International Journal of Educational Development 29, no. 5 (2009): 532-41. Accessed February 22, 2014. http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ849417. 8 Fitzpatrick, Laura. “China’s One-Child Policy.” Times, July 27, 2009. Accessed March 10, 2014. http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1912861,00.html.
screening in 1944, but studies still found that China has 32 million more boys than girls under the age of 20.8 Although the One-‐Child Policy has proven to be relatively effective in slowing China’s population growth, many issues are still at hand. Couples are prohibited from having more than one child, but are engaging in sexual intercourse more than once in their relationship.8 Without any knowledge of contraceptives or access to proper sex education, people are having unprotected sex, getting pregnant, and having numerous abortions in order to avoid penalties.9 Young people are inevitably going to experiment with sex at some point and married couples will continue to have sex in their relationships. It is crucial that people are informed about contraceptives in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies, especially if they wan to obey the One-‐Child Policy without health risks.
The lack of sex education for China’s youth has negative affects on their
health, social life, and psychology; in addition, it is causing long-‐term problems for the State. One would expect that after three decades of the One-‐Child policy people of China would know how to have intercourse without getting
Illustrates the average number of abortions performed each year.
pregnant, but that is not the case. In July of 2009, Chinese health officials declared that 13 million abortions are performed in registered medical clinics each year.3 When taking into account unregistered medical clinics and the 10 million abortion-‐inducing pills sold every year, the number is much greater.3 The question is why these millions of abortions
are occurring every year in China, and the answer is merely lack of sex education. In an interview done by Michelle Tsai, she met with a local college
student, Hu, and asked her questions relating to her past experience with sex education and her current experience with sexual relationships. Hu said, “People born in the 1980s and ‘90s are most in danger. We’re liberal but we didn’t have any sex education.”3 Hu and her college roommates all arrived at college as virgins, and by the end of her fourth year one of her roommates had had three abortions in one year.3 Sister Siyu, a popular question portal that teens in China send their questions to, receives questions ranging from, “I am 18, and my girlfriend is 16. We held and kissed, so I am afraid that she will get pregnant. Will she?” to, “I am 20 years old, and I’ve had four abortions. Can I have a child when I get married in the future?”3 The wide variety of questions that Siyu receives illustrates the incredible lack of knowledge Chinese teens have about sex and the negative implications of their ignorance According to China Daily, a survey conducted by a Shanghai hospital found that less than 30 percent of hot line callers knew how to prevent pregnancy.3 At Beijing University, peer educators are not only asked questions about contraceptives and sex, but also basic questions about menstruation and how often to change maxi pads.3 Not only is the lack of sex education affecting teens on a social level, http://www.nimh.nih.gov/images/news-‐items/r2_adult-‐hiv-‐prevalence.jpg
it is also causing serious health
threats. In 2012 a total of 17 hundred students in China were reported with HIV. This was a increase of 24.5 percent from the year before.3 Specialist Hu Jia examines this phenomenon and believes that sex education could “act as a safeguard to help ward off the disease.”9 China is home to more than seven thousand students who are infected with HIV or AIDS patients.9 The National Health and Family
Planning34Commission reported that about 85 percent of newly registered HIV cases were contacted through sex.9 These statistics show how poor awareness of safe sex practices are putting young people at risk of being infected by HIV. Professor Niu Weni from the School of Public Health at Peking University believes that, “…health education may be regarded as an effective social vaccine. Therefore continuing to carry out health education is very important as it can play a crucial role in the prevention of AIDS.”9 Sex education needs to be recognized in schools, and even5students are starting to desire for the lesson. Middle school students are beginning to complain that they are not receiving enough sex education from their teachers.10 Most teachers skip over the sex related sections in textbooks or have the students read the independently. Expert Geng Wenxiu, a professor from
Agencies. “Sex education key to HIV prevention among students in China.” Global Times, December 2, 2013. Accessed April 3, 2014. http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/829175.shtml#.UzsttVFdXWM. 10 China Daily. “Sex Education Needs More Attention.” China.org. Last modified April 18, 2001. Accessed February 22, 2014. http://www.china.org.cn/english/2001/Apr/11288.htm. 11 “HIV/AIDS PSA Series.” Chang Ai Media Project. Video file. Accessed April 8, 2014. http://www.campfilms.org/projects/aids/psas.htmlHI.
East China Normal University, says, “Sex education in China is not a problem of sex
Magic Johnson and Yao Ming pose for a picture during their filming for Chang Ai Media Project’s PSA series.
knowledge, but a lack of proper education.”10 When students are looking for answers to their sex-‐related questions they turn to videos and the internet, which can expose teens to pornography and incorrect information.10 Porn reinforces sex-‐related
misperceptions into teens’ minds and that information leads to situations of regret.10 Fortunately, China is starting to realize the need for sex education for their young people and is slowly starting to create projects to spread awareness of the issue. China is using the power of media and mass conducted surveys to gain information and implement new sex education curriculums. Chang Ai Media Project produced a handful of short public service announcements to talk about HIV/AIDS and protection.11 Jackie Chan, Yao Ming, and Magic Johnson took part in the PSA’s to talk about the important of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. Some of the other PSAs discuss how children infected with HIV/AIDS are still safe to be around and should not be abandoned.11 These PSAs have gone viral in China and are being used to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS.11 A Head-‐Royce student, Jenny Zhang, who is from China, voiced her opinion on the controversy of sex education: “Sex education classes in schools are often very brief, and because most students are shy around
the topic, very few will speak up and create discussions. The secrecy around the subject in turn makes the students feel more curious, and they usually browse the internet for information (many of which are false). Solutions for this problem is not Students in a Chengdu classroom listen to their teacher talk about where they come from.
so simple since much of it comes from the conservative culture, but it will help if parents can openly discuss the subject with their child.” Some of the more liberal thinkers in China also have the same view as Jenny Zhang and decided to take the matters in their own hands. Unknown producers recently
created a handful of sex education related videos that
went viral.13 The videos, all in Chinese, discuss a variety of issues ranging from puberty, to cleansing private parts, to sex and love.13 It is suggested that these videos are intended for parents to view with their young children since the message is depicted with simple language and playful drawings.13 CCTV aired a short video segment about a new sex education curriculum being used in Chengdu.14 The curriculum focuses on using art as a form of teaching.14 One of the teachers discussed how it is difficult for China to implement a set sex education curriculum in all schools because of how massive the country is.14 Xu Zhenlei, Secretary General of China Sexology Association states, “Each of China's regions differs a lot…The education ministry is doing a lot of work. They're planning to set up a curriculum on sex education, but the nation is too big, so it's really hard to centralize sex education.”14 Another way China is working to improve its sex education curriculum is by conducting surveys to local students. Some of these surveys ask college students about what education they have received in the past and what type of education they want to receive or wish that had received.5 These surveys are
providing experts with information to work with that will help to create a beneficial and comprehensive sex education for all of China’s youth.
As a youth member at Forward Together, my work with reaching out to the
Asian community in Oakland has presented me with many challenges when attempting to break down barriers around a conversation about sex. Many of the young Asian people, such as myself, do not struggle with discussing sex-‐related topics amongst friends, but when it comes to our parents, who are mainly immigrants, it is a whole other story. Asian parents who were not born and raised in America tend to possess the more traditional views on sex and sex education: it is a forbidden subject. These views lead to many problems when children are not able to fully communicate with their parents because their parents just do not understand, which is where my work with Forward Together comes into play. In addition to working to implement a comprehensive sex education into OUSD, we also produce campaign posters and videos to start discussion amongst youth and their parents regarding topics of sex education. Breaking these traditional barriers with
“Never Ever Getting Sti’s Together”
immigrant parents is not an easy task, but it is definitely
possible and worth the fight because the final outcome will reap many positive benefits. Older, more traditional, mindsets need to realize that sex education is not about teaching young people how to have sex. It is about teaching young people about safe sex, health, body image, anatomy, and so forth. This research paper has inspired me to further my work with sex education and to one day take my passion and work to China. China has a long
way to go, but has definitely made headway into improving its sexual health and education curriculum for its young people.6
Zhang, Jenny. E-mail interview by the author. Head-Royce School Oakland, CA. May 5, 2014. Carter, Liz. “China’s Viral, Minut-Long Sex Ed Videos.” Tea Leaf Nation. Last modified November 5, 2013. Accessed March 6, 2014. http://www.tealeafnation.com/2013/11/chinas-viralminute-long-sex-ed-videos/. 14 WealthOfHealth4. “Sex Education in China.” Youtube. Video file. Posted December 1, 2011. Accessed March 6, 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnUC7lAP6fg. 13
Final Annotated Bibliography 1) Abby. "China's Viral Sex Education Videos." Global Voices. Video file. Posted January 15, 2014. Accessed March 6, 2014. https://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/01/15/chinas-‐viral-‐sex-‐education-‐ videos/. This short video is one of the many viral sex ed videos China has recently produced. This specific video focuses on the penis and I assume is meant to teach young boys how to take care of their genitals. It uses a form of art to convey its message and a little bit of relatable humor as well. This could be useful when writing about the sex education curriculum in China. 2) Agencies. "Sex education key to HIV prevention among students in China." Global Times, December 2, 2013. Accessed April 3, 2014. http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/829175.shtml#.UzsttVFdXWM. This article discusses the spread of HIV/Aids in China and provides incredible statistics about the increase in HIV/Aids and the reported cases of unprotected sex that have resulted in HIV/Aids. The information will be helpful for me when I am writing about why sex education in China is needed -‐ as a "social vaccine" to prevent the spreading of HIV/Aids. 3) Aresu, Alessandra. "Sex Education in Modern and Contemporary China: Interrupted Debates across the Last Century." International Journal of Educational Development 29, no. 5 (2009): 532-‐41. Accessed February 22, 2014. http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ849417. This essay provides extensive information on the history of sex education in China. It discusses how the debates over sex education in China developed and how history, politics, and social context play a role. Before writing this annotation, I had access to the full essay, as of today I can only access the abstract/summary. I will continue to look for the full essay, but even without it, the essay abstract has plenty of useful information. 4) Beijing Review (Beijing, China). "Is Sex Education Appropriate for Middle School Students?" January 25, 2007, Forum. Accessed April 1, 2014. http://www.bjreview.com.cn/forum/txt/2007-‐01/25/content_53732_2.htm. This news article has lots of information and opinions on the controversy of sex education in China and why the Chinese fear teaching sex education. The information in this article will be helpful for discussing the reasons China lacks sex education and how the Chinese are working to alter the views of it and create a good curriculum.
5) Bullough, Vern L., and Fang-‐fu Ruan. "Sex Education in Mainland China." In Health Education, 16-‐19. Vol. 21. Buffalo: n.p., 1990. Accessed February 22, 2014. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00970050.1990.10616184# preview. This excerpt article is originally from a book about Health Education in China. It provides information on how Western bourgeoise has influenced China's outlook on sex education. It discusses why China has moved away from sex education due to its concern with becoming Westernized. It also gives a brief overview of sex education in China. I am hoping to find access to the full book for further research. 6) Carter, Liz. "China’s Viral, Minute-‐Long Sex Ed Videos." Tea Leaf Nation. Last modified November 5, 2013. Accessed March 6, 2014. http://www.tealeafnation.com/2013/11/chinas-‐viral-‐minute-‐long-‐sex-‐ed-‐ videos/. This article provides written information and the viral sex education videos. The videos are in Chinese, so I can understand a little bit here and there, but I will use Ms. Gong as a resource to translate the videos for me. The written portion provides some statistics on the number of schools that do and do not teach sex ed, and how these videos are actually intended for parents and not for children. The writer discusses how the language of the videos is probably out of the vocabulary of a first grader; therefore, the videos were produced to aid parents in the birds and bees discussion. 7) China Daily. "Sex Education Needs More Attention." China.org. Last modified April 18, 2001. Accessed February 22, 2014. http://www.china.org.cn/english/2001/Apr/11288.htm. This short article discusses how some educators in China are concerned that sex education does not get enough attention. Many parents do not discuss the topic of sex so their children are afraid to ask. Therefore, they get their information from unreliable sources and end up with more problems. The writer talks about how the problem is not lack of knowledge, its lack of proper education. 8) Dunas, Felice, Dr. "A Brief History of Sex as Medicine in China." Yang Sheng (Nurturing Life). Last modified July 15, 2011. Accessed March 5, 2014. http://yang-‐sheng.com/?p=3576. This article discusses how in Ancient China sex was used as a form of medicine and way of healing. It talks about how ancient rulers kept journals about their experience with sex and their female teachers. It even begins to go into how it has influenced modern Chinese medicine. This could tie into my research paper by connecting it with historical views of sex in China. 9) Fitzpatrick, Laura. "China's One-‐Child Policy." Times, July 27, 2009. Accessed March 10, 2014. http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1912861,00.html.
This brief article from Times discusses the history of the one-‐child policy and the opinions of China's leaders at the time. It is helpful for my historical summary because I can talk about the ins and outs of the policy -‐ how it works, how it doesn't work. 10) Gong, Ying. Interview by the author. Head-‐Royce School Oakland, CA. I asked Ms. Gong questions about her experience with sex education as a primary school student in China. The questions covered whether or not she received a sex education, how she was affected by the lack of or not lack of sex education, and her feelings on the topic now. Also, the general ideology of sex education in her home and hometown. I also added a question about her view on the One-‐Child policy and if she thinks it is effective. 11) Guo, Wei, Zheng Wu, Yue Qiu, Gong Chen, and Xiaoying Zheng. "The Timing of Sexual Debut Among Chinese Youth." International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 38, no. 4 (December 2010): 196-‐204. Accessed March 11, 2014. http://jstor.org/stable/23343637. This report provided to me by Ms. Goglio is super informative about the sexual debut of Chinese youth. It talks about a study/research it did and background information/history of sex education in China. Moreover, where the ideologies come from and what events took place to establish those ideas. 12) Henneberger, S. "History of the Policy." China's One Child Policy. Last modified 2007. Accessed March 10, 2014. http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/projects/fall07/Henneberger/History.html. This website provided me with a brief summary of the history of the one-‐ child policy. It helps to guide me in a more specific direction regarding China's one-‐child policy. This information will be used in my historical summary. It also ties in the Cultural Revolution and the population growth. From this exact link, I am able to look through the rest of the website's tabs that discuss implementation, resources, outcomes, etc. I will also use that information for further guidance. 13) "HIV/AIDS PSA Series." Chang Ai Media Project. Video file. Accessed April 8, 2014. http://www.campfilms.org/projects/aids/psas.htmlHI. There are four short PSA videos that were used to spread the awareness of HIV/AIDS prevention and how not protecting oneself can result in continued spreading of the disease. They are interesting clips that use famous stars and young children to help share the message. These videos will be helpful when writing about what China is doing to help improve sex education in China. 14) Li, Ying, Randall R. Cottrell, Donald I. Wagner, and Maosheng Ban. "Needs and Preferences regarding Sex Education among Chinese College Students: A Preliminary Study." International Family Planning Perspectives 30, no. 3 (2004). Accessed February 22, 2014. http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/3012804.html.
This journal did an amazing research study/survey on the needs and preferences of teenagers in China related to sex education. It goes over the methods of survey, results with discussion, and the conclusions and recommendations. It is a very thorough journal with extensive and useful research information that I will definitely use in paper. It is not so much about history, and more about today. 15) Shanghai Municipal Government. "Importance of parents role in sex education for teenagers stressed." Shanghai.gov. Last modified June 28, 2013. Accessed April 8, 2014. http://www.shanghai.gov.cn/shanghai/node27118/node27818/u22ai7259 0.html. This article from Shanghai's government discusses why parents of children in China need to have a role in sex education for their children. It also talks about how both the school and parents need to have an active role in teaching the children about sex education. It is not just about the sex, but also about puberty and protecting their bodies. The outcome of parents not relaying any focus on their children's sex education usually leads to unexpected teenage pregnancies. This article will be helpful when I write about the negative effects of no sex education. 16) Tsai, Michelle. "Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex (But Didn't Learn Because You Grew Up in China)." Slate. Last modified November 4, 2009. Accessed March 6, 2014. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/dispatches/2009/11/eve rything_you_always_wanted_to_know_about_sex_but_didnt_learn_because_yo u_grew_up_in_china.2.html. This article was extremely interesting and intriguing on many levels. The writer interviewed college students about their sex lives and their past experiences with sex education and many of the answers were the same. Along the lines of "my teacher didn't want to teach us, so she had us read the book and we couldn't ask questions" and "I've had 3 abortions over the last year". These college students are going to college without any sex education knowledge and having sex without protection and without caution. This article also talks about the attitudes of birth control. This will be extremely useful in my paper when discussing current views and the negative effects not teaching comprehensive sex ed. 17) WealthOfHealth4. "Sex Education in China." Youtube. Video file. Posted December 1, 2011. Accessed March 6, 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnUC7lAP6fg. This short interview segment is from CCTV and it interviews teachers and students in Chengdu about its sex education curriculum. The curriculum focuses on using art as a form of teaching. Some of the teachers discussed how it is difficult for China to implement a set sex ed curriculum in all school's because of how massive it is. It goes into talk about how sex
education in changing in China and what dilemmas parents face. It is helpful for the current state of sex ed in China. 18) Zhang, Jenny. E-‐mail interview by the author. Head-‐Royce School Oakland, CA. May 5, 2014. This interview was conducted via email. I asked Jenny a few questions relating to sex education in China, specifically her view on the topic/controversy and her outlook on the One-‐Child Policy. Her answers were more thorough than I had expected. She even provided me with insight on what her parents thought of the situation.
News Coverage in the Middle East: Examining the Biases of Al Jazeera by Frankie Paris May, 2014
Abstract In my research, I examined the history and biases of the Middle Eastern news station Al Jazeera. Founded in 1996 by the Qatari government, Al Jazeera has expanded from Doha to the rest of the Middle East, much of Europe, and the United States. It played a critical role during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and again in the Arab Spring of 2011. I focused in on its coverage of the post-revolution period of Egyptâ€™s Arab Spring and examined the controversy of its work during and after the rule of President Mohamed Morsi. To determine if the publicâ€™s accusations of Al Jazeera as a pro-Muslim Brotherhood tool of its government were accurate, I looked at analysis from the Middle East and the West, statistics from Al Jazeera articles, and a personal account of an Egyptian living in America and watching the station.
In 2000, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak dropped in unannounced on the Al Jazeera headquarters in Doha, Qatar and commented: “All this trouble from a matchbox like this?”1 Since its inception in November 1996, the Qatari-based news station has stirred up the Middle East and the West alike with its reports of conflict in the region. It has been called pro-Israel, a “mouthpiece for terrorists,” a spy for Mossad, and countless other conflicting allegations. In the summer of 2013, seventeen years after Al Jazeera sprung up from the barren desert of Qatar, and when I was, coincidentally, seventeen years old, I first learned about the news organization through a documentary called “Control Room.” The film launched my journalism class headfirst into the world of controversy surrounding media coverage of the war in Iraq. Produced in 2004, the documentary depicted a complex struggle between the blue-eyed American Lieutenant as the mouthpiece for the United States and the dedicated staff of Al Jazeera’s headquarters in Doha. The lieutenant tried to explain coalition actions that he believed in inherently and grew frustrated with the relentless questions of the Al Jazeera reporters who often had footage or reports discrediting the coalition; over the course of the documentary he began to see the Al Jazeera staff not as the enemy, but as allies in the effort for peace to which he was committed. Shortly after the documentary was filmed, the lieutenant joined Al Jazeera as a staff member. The video played right into my desire to work in international journalism, and instantly a job at Al Jazeera became my holy grail. From the documentary’s analysis of Al Jazeera’s coverage of Iraq, I saw unbiased and thorough journalists displaying amazing dedication and passion, and I believed in them and in the station instantly. Though the video was almost a decade old, I couldn’t fathom that the station could change so dramatically that it would no longer appeal to my own standards of good journalism. Later, I would find out that at the exact same time as I had discovered and fallen in love with the station, in July 2013, twenty-two Al Jazeera journalists had walked out of the Egypt bureau in protest over biased coverage of Arab Spring. When I read that news, I began to struggle with my original image of Al Jazeera. Was it possible that a station that had apparently engaged in unbiased and thorough journalism despite pressure from home and abroad -- and 1 1
Miles, Hugh. Al-Jazeera: The Inside Story of the Arab News Channel That is Challenging the West.
despite living in constant danger that accompanied any journalistic efforts during the conflict in Iraq -- could be a pro-Muslim Brotherhood tool of the Qatari government? Had I misinterpreted the station’s intentions from the start? My own experience in the Middle East is limited to one trip in Egypt when I was thirteen years old. I remember staying in a hotel after a volcano eruption prevented us from flying home. Each morning, I ate breakfast while looking at a bridge in the center of Cairo. Almost exactly one year later, that bridge would be flooded with angry protesters and fire during the Arab Spring. I decided that the revolution that took place in 2011 could be the centerfold for my exploration of Al Jazeera’s biases, though I later learned that the real story lay in the succession of events afterwards. To fully understand Al Jazeera’s role in the Middle East, however, I started at the beginning. Against the backdrop of the history of media in the Middle East, Al Jazeera sticks out as a striking point of contrast. In 1865, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire decreed that journalists had to “report on the precious health of the Sultan.” The result was that all new and old forms of media were used only as propaganda tools for the government, pre-censoring their own content and completely avoiding anything that even resembled dissent. This decree determined, in practice if not in law, how news organizations operated up through the 1990’s. Newspapers arrived in the Middle East in the 19th century, when Al-Ahram, an Egyptian paper, was considered the finest Arab paper. In the mid-20th century, radio journalism emerged as outlets for Allied and Axis propaganda, followed by a series of international stations broadcasting for Arabs, including Voice of America and BBC Arabic.2 Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser created Voice of the Arabs during the Second World War to spread his own imperialist propaganda, promoting pan-Arabism and painting unflattering portraits of his enemies.3 Television began broadcasting in the sixties, which was a considerable advancement for the media, since some countries in the Middle East still have well over 50% illiteracy rates, especially for women. In the seventies and eighties, there was a surge in regional newspapers. Nevertheless, despite the expansion of the media, it remained tightly controlled by the governments. Wealthy Saudi Arabian princes funded media empires designed to promote sympathy for themselves. A Minister of Information for each country ensured that government2
Miles, 24. Doran, Michael Scott. "The Heirs of Nassar: Who Will Benefit from the Second 3 Arab Revolution?" 3
backed news organizations put a significant focus on the day to day business of that country’s leader and stopped any possibility of dissent.4 In 1972, the Editor of Al-Ahram, Egypt’s secondoldest and most popular newspaper, Mohammed Hassanein Haykal, was a good friend of the late Egyptian President, and “the semi-official voice of the Egyptian Government” according to readers.5 Fatima Osman, an Egyptian immigrant to Berkeley, invited me into her home to talk about Al Jazeera and media as she saw it in Egypt. As she poured me a glass of homemade orange juice and offered me Egyptian sweets, she recounted the history of news agencies to which she had grown up accustomed. “We always made fun of local news,” Osman said of her experience with news before Al Jazeera’s birth. It was, according to her, unprofessional, technologically sluggish for the time, and nearly always biased, if not outright government propaganda. For her, Al Jazeera’s appearance was “refreshing.”6 For many, it was also surprising. In a region where free press was an almost unimaginable concept, Al Jazeera’s inception was an outlier. In the proper context, however, its origins do not seem so unexpected. Qatar is a peninsula in the Middle East slightly smaller than Connecticut, which borders Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf. A barren desert stretches over most of the arid country, and only 1.2% of the land is arable. Despite the apparent lack of natural resources, this little country with a population of just over two million has the highest GDP per capita in the world at 102 thousand US dollars: the nation’s wealth is a direct result of the major petroleum deposits located under the country. Oil and gas account for more than half of the GDP and about 85% of export earnings. The population is only 40% Arab but over three-quarters Muslim, with a 96% literacy rate that hardly differs between men and women, who are expected, on average, to spend the same number of years in school.7 4
Miles, 24. Turck, Nancy B. "The Authoritative Al-Ahram." Saudi Aramco World, September/ 5 October 1972. 6 Osman, Fatima. Interview by the author. Berkeley, CA. April 23, 2013. 7 "The World Factbook." Central Intelligence Agency. https://www.cia.gov/library/ 7 publications/the-world-factbook/geos/qa.html. 5
Much of the gender equity stems from reforms by former Emir Sheikh Hamad Al Thani, and his second wife, Sheikha Moza. Al Thani, who seized power from his father in 1995, was a “Western-educated technocrat”8 and the youngest ruler in the Gulf at forty-four. He and Sheikha Moza worked from the outset of his rule to elevate Qatar’s position on an international scale, incorporate more elements of democracy, increase the national level of education, and implement many other reforms that defied the status quo, both for Qatar and for the entire Middle East. It was in this atmosphere that the Emir issued a decree to establish a satellite news channel that would be independent of his control: Al Jazeera. With the Emir’s grant of $140 million, Al Jazeera -- literally translated as “The Peninsula” -- began broadcasting on November 1, 1996.9 By 1999, Al Jazeera had a foothold on the news market in the Middle East, and it expanded from six to 24 hours a day. The network did not make a splash on the international scale, however, until the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan. In an article published October 8th, 2001, the day after the United States and the United Kingdom launched the joint Operation Enduring Freedom, New York Times reporters Jim Rutenburg and Bill Carter conceded that “networks have not had an easy time stationing people in Taliban-held Afghanistan.”10 That language is a broad understatement: after the events of September 11th, foreign journalists could only get access to northern areas of Afghanistan held by the Northern Alliance, and Al Jazeera had the only camera crew in the Taliban-controlled zone.11 Al Jazeera’s biggest advantage was that it was there, on the ground, during each conflict, a feat that no Western news channel could compare with12. As a result, many overseas news stations had no choice but to use Al Jazeera’s footage, with its watermark, for their own broadcasts about the conflict -- and many viewers worldwide began watching the channel itself. With international publicity came harsh scrutiny from the West. In the years since its founding, Al Jazeera had been rebuked and accused of purposeful malice by almost every government in the Middle East; however, none attacked the outlet with as much vitriol as the Western world. Starting from Al Jazeera’s broadcast of a message pre-recorded by Osama bin 8
Miles, 14. "Al Jazeera Timeline." http://www.journalism.org/2006/08/22/al-jazeera-timeline/ 10 Rutenberg, Jim, and Bill Carter. "A Nation Challenged: Media; After the Military 10 Strikes, Solid Information and Details Were Slow in Arriving." New York 10 Times, October 8, 2001. 11 Miles, 114 12 Osman, Fatima. Interview by the author. Berkeley, CA. April 23, 2013. 9
Laden on September 16th, 2001, following the September 11th attack, the United States media and government both called for Al Jazeera to be censored or at least discredited. A CNN article from October 3rd, 2001 reported that the Bush administration asked the Qatari government to restrain Al Jazeera since the network “continues to run an old television interview with Osama bin Laden and has invited anti-American guests who have argued that U.S. foreign policy was to blame for the September 11 terrorist attacks.”13 US accusations and complaints about Al Jazeera’s intentions continued in the same fashion throughout the war, but they had very little effect on the station’s viewership: though the major United States broadcasters made a point of putting disclaimers on all Al Jazeera footage they used, if they wanted direct footage of the war, they had no choice but to continue to use the stations’ clips. Just as CNN’s favorable position during the Gulf War made that channel, Afghanistan rocketed Al Jazeera from international obscurity to a well-known news station, and its work in Iraq only continued that trend. Al Jazeera’s role during the war in Iraq further depicts both its rocky relationship with Western media and governments as well as its unique position on the ground. In March 2003, Al Jazeera had the only news team in the city of Basra, Iraq’s second-largest city, inside of which the living conditions had deteriorated significantly. When international pressure was focused on the coalition, in part due to Al Jazeera, to assist the people, British troops gathered outside of the city. Faced with the decision of either sending in ground troops, which would cause considerable losses of coalition forces, or launching an air raid, which would result in numerous civilian casualties, the coalition did not act immediately. After a short time, a convenient rumor came to pass: that a popular uprising had taken to the streets. After the fullscale artillery assault had slowed, Al Jazeera’s Basra correspondent showed the world those streets, deserted and silent, with no sign of an uprising. Shortly afterward, Al Jazeera disproved another coalition claim, by doing a live interview with the head of the Iraqi 51st Division in
Koppel, Andrea, and Elise Labott. "U.S. Pressures Qatar to Restrain TV Outlet." CNN, October 3, 2001.
Basra, whom the coalition had reported had given himself up.14 Al Jazeera approached its coverage of Iraq in the same fashion as the events in Basra throughout the whole war. It stuck to its policy of “the opinion and the other opinion,” interviewing, among others, “Ba’athists, neoconservatives, anti-war Europeans, Kurdish and Arab nationalists,” with “an impressive display of diversity,” according to Saudi-Arabian-born and Western-educated journalist Hugh Miles.15 Western media also eventually gave some praise about Al Jazeera’s work in Iraq: the documentary Control Room tried to portray to Westerns who had strong biases against any news coming out of the Middle East a more accurate picture of Al Jazeera’s thorough coverage. To be sure, Joan Tucker, manager of AlJazeera.net, pointed out in “Control Room” that, especially in a war, “this word objectivity is almost a mirage.”16 Miles wrote of Iraq that Al Jazeera’s tone was often “sympathetic to Iraqis,” but that it was a natural consequence of speaking the same language and sharing the same culture; for the most part, he believed, Al Jazeera’s coverage of the war appeared to have been holistic.17 For Fatima Osman, this period of coverage by Al Jazeera was something to be grateful for. By broadcasting in Arabic, her language, and showing the point of view of the Arabs, Al Jazeera filled a hole in the media. As an Arab abroad, she found that it was a window both to the Arab perspective on huge events, like the war in Iraq, and the everyday life in Egypt. And in contrast to some of the news stations she had grown up with in Egypt, the coverage was “impeccable.” She was struck by how professional the program was, from the grammatically correct, formal language to the thorough research; for her, up until 2012, Al Jazeera was “a joy to watch.” In my research of Al Jazeera pre-Arab Spring, I found both criticism and praise of the station’s work, but a majority of both Westerner and Middle Eastern opinions were favorable 14
Miles, 246 Miles 244 16 Shillue, Edith. “Objectivity in the Mirage: Al-Jazeera and the Struggle to Report a War.” Vietnam Veterans Against the War. 17 Miles, 355 15
towards the station. I knew that Al Jazeera was funded almost entirely by the Qatari government, a fact which friends and family to whom I mentioned the project never failed to point out, but I saw little indication that its funding had ever had any significant impact on its output. Upon occasion, Al Jazeera’s aggressive coverage actually stirred up trouble for Doha. During conflicts in the Middle East, from the Second Intifada through the Iraq War, a large number of Arab governments criticized Qatar when Al Jazeera reported on something that portrayed them in an unflattering light; several even temporarily suspended diplomatic relations or withdrew an ambassador over the stations’ work. During the war in Iraq, though Qatar was the United States’ ally of choice in the region, Al Jazeera did not hesitate to show images or footage that directly undermined official coalition statements or even provoked anti-American sentiment, though they often played side by side with criticism of the Iraqi regime. It seemed that the station was providing exactly what it promised: “the opinion and the other opinion.” When I turned my research to more recent events, during and after the revolutions that sprung up all over the Middle East in 2011, I found a different story entirely. For Western news organizations, coverage of Arab Spring was an exercise in parachute journalism. The term refers to news organizations “parachuting” or entering without context into a conflict-filled region. At the outset of the Egyptian Revolution, the demand for news about Egypt was higher than ever: the Pew Research Journalism Project found that 56% of all news coverage during the week of January 31st, 2011, was focused on Egypt.18 The Western news media’s capability to provide this news, however, was somewhat lacking. A report issued in June 2012 by the BBC Trust, which analyses and governs the work of the BBC, found that the BBC’s coverage of the unfolding events in the Middle East though generally “commendable” lacked “breadth and context.”19 Matthew Kalman, a foreign correspondent from Cambridge University working in Jerusalem, pointed out that Western journalists are attracted to the excitement of events like Arab Spring, but often enter places like the Middle East with little knowledge of the country or the whole picture. The more high-profile the journalist or anchor is, the less time he may have to stay in the country, and the more difficult it is to produce an unbiased, realistic
Pew Research Center. “The Fall of Mubarak and the Media.” Pew Research Journalism Project. Last modified February 12, 2011. 19 BBC Trust. “BBC’s ‘Arab Spring’ coverage remarkable and generally impartial, but could have benefited from more breadth and context, Trust review concludes.” News release. June 12, 2012.
description of events. This sort of coverage, Kalman claimed, when it does not cause inaccuracies, frequently leads to sensationalism.20 Al Jazeera’s key advantage during the Egyptian Revolution in Arab Spring, therefore, was its deep familiarity with Egyptian politics, culture, and history. Similarly to the beginnings of the wars in Afghanistan in Iraq, Al Jazeera had a fully-staffed bureau in Egypt and was wellprepared to cover the events as they unfolded. “I was glued to Al Jazeera,” Osman recalled. “Everyone turned to Al Jazeera for coverage. It was one of the only ways to see the protests, and it brought more people to them.” She said that many of the Egyptian news channels showed pictures of the Nile with “the sun shining,” and gave no indication of the monumental events taking place in Cairo, while Al Jazeera was on the ground, interviewing protesters and actually encouraging people to overthrow President Hosni Mubarak. It repeatedly broadcast one clip from Tahrir Square entitled “The Will of the People,” and even after Mubarak had their offices shut down, they continued broadcasting the protests with their cellphones.21 Protesters held up signs and banners expressing their gratitude towards Al Jazeera for allowing the rest of the world to watch the revolution. For Al Jazeera, early 2011 was a high point, a “watershed moment” according to Guardian reporter James Cameron.22 For Osman, it was the last time that the station would hold credibility in her eyes. Al Jazeera’s coverage of the events that followed the revolution revealed fundamental issues in the station that had never been so clear in its history. The language used in Western media to describe Al Jazeera’s reporting from the period after the Egyptian Revolution is eerily similar to the language used during the wars in 20
Davies, Neil. “Parachute journalism leads to poor Middle Eastern reporting.” The Digital Universe, March 4, 2014. 21 Eldar, Shlomi. “The Rise and Fall of Al Jazeera.” Al Monitor, July 14, 2013. 22 Cameron, James. “Journalism and a world in transition: Wadah Khanfar’s James Cameron memorial lecture.” The Guardian, October 7, 2011.
Afghanistan and Iraq. One article from The Commentator from 2013 calls Al Jazeera a “propaganda broadcaster” and insinuates that it works as a tool for the Qatari government, both of which were common jabs thrown at the station by many Western politicians during the early 2000’s. For example, in 2003, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said that the United States knows “that Al Jazeera has a pattern of playing propaganda over and over and over again,” but retrospective research of Al Jazeera’s role demonstrates that that is not the case.23 There is no shortage of historical examples of governments tossing names and accusations at Al Jazeera as punishment for unfavorable coverage; therefore, it is important to consider reports of Al Jazeera’s heavily biased coverage from both a Middle Eastern and a Western perspective. In this case, criticisms of bias have been evident throughout the international community: Middle Easterners and Westerners alike can see that Al Jazeera has been virulently supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohamed Morsi. Al Jazeera’s own staff’s reaction to its coverage from Egypt has shown that bias clearly. On July 8th, 2013, just after the ousting of President Morsi by the military, 22 staff members resigned from Al Jazeera’s bureau in Egypt in protest over its pro-Muslim Brotherhood slant. Al-Jazeera correspondent Haggag Salama claimed that the station was “airing lies and misleading viewers.”24 Fatima Nabil was a journalist and news anchor who was among the 22 to quit. “We received explicit instructions to support the Muslim Brotherhood,” she said, “during all discussions that took place in the studio.” She said that she and her colleagues wanted to prevent a civil war, “like other journalists,” but they were being instructed to encourage the Muslim Brotherhood to revolt. “That would have led to bloodshed.”25 Perhaps the most striking example of Al Jazeera’s bias is evident in the coverage of the protest that precipitated Morsi’s ousting and the exodus of staff members. On June 30th, 2013, an enormous crowd of Egyptians gathered in Tahrir square and in the surrounding streets to protest the Muslim Brotherhood. The estimates of how many people were actually in the protest ranges from half a million to 30 million; an anonymous military source told Reuters that estimates from helicopters above the city suggested 14 million, while a Guardian article stated that only 500,000 Egyptians joined in the protest. Nevertheless, the protests were immense by 23
Curiel, Jonathan. “Whose truth in Iraq? / Arab network profiled in superb documentary.” SF Gate, June 11, 2004. 24 Chasmar, Jessica. “‘We aired lies’: Al-Jazeera staff quit over biased Egypt coverage.” Washington Times, July 9, 2013. 25 Eldar, Shlomi. “The Rise and Fall of Al Jazeera.”Al Monitor, July 14, 2013.
any account: "The scenes of protests are unprecedented in size and scope,” attested Michael Hanna, a Century Foundation fellow and longtime Egypt analyst, in the article from the Guardian, “and seemingly surpass those during the 18-day uprising that toppled Mubarak.”26 Al Jazeera coverage, however, downplayed considerably the extent of the protests and supported Morsi with little consideration for “the other opinion.” One Al Jazeera article from July 2013 condemns the large estimates of protesters, repeating several times that the only sources have been anonymous military members, and referring to the protest as a “mirage” and an “unsavory military coup.”27 The latter part almost directly echoes Brotherhood politician Essam El-Erain’s denunciation of the protests as a “coup attempt,” in a statement which he published on the Brotherhood’s website at the time of the protests.28 Another article from the same month claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters “represent a large part of Egypt's population, perhaps half or more;”29 however, a Washington Times report placed public support for the Muslim Brotherhood between 25 and 29 percent of the population. Another discrepancy lay in the legitimacy of the ousting of Morsi. Both the Washington Times report and the Reuters article touched upon the frustration of the Egyptian people with the Muslim Brotherhood regime. Al Jazeera’s reports on the situation described the protests and eventual ousting as a military coup that was undoing all of the progress the country had made towards democracy after Mubarak had been overthrown. One government critic, quoted in the Washington Times, refuted that claim. Though Morsi had been elected democratically, businessman Hassan Shanab noted that he had not governed in the same fashion. “Since he took over, everything’s been polarised,” said Shanab. “All of a sudden, we see ourselves part of an Islamic regime like Iran. Morsi’s answerable to the Brotherhood, but they are not answerable to us.”30 Similarly, a Reuters article claimed that many of the protesters believed the Muslim Brotherhood was “using electoral victories to monopolize power and impose Islamic law.”31
Kingsley, Patrick. “Protesters across Egypt call for Mohamed Morsi to go.” The Guardian (Cairo), June 30, 2013. 27 Blumenthal, Max. “People, power, or propaganda? Unraveling the Egyptian opposition.” Al Jazeera, July 19, 2013. 28 Fayed, Shaimaa, and Yasmine Saleh. “Millions flood Egypt’s streets to demand Mursi quit.” Reuters. 29 Dersso, Solomon. “June 30th: Egypt’s Pandora’s Box.” Al Jazeera, July 26, 2013. 30 Chasmar, Jessica. 31 Fayed, Shaimaa, and Yasmine Saleh.
Many within and outside of Egypt believe that Al Jazeera’s pro-Muslim Brotherhood slant is the result of the Qatari government’s connection to the Muslim Brotherhood. Qatar’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood date back to the 1960’s, when the Qatar recruited a wealth of Islamist Egyptian teachers, including Abdul-Badi Saqr, who helped set up the young country’s educational system. During the Arab Spring, Qatar supported the Muslim Brotherhood as it gained popularity, seeking to increase its own status in the Middle East.32 A direct result of that support was the Doha’s increased control over Al Jazeera’s coverage of the events in Egypt, which it was able to exercise because Al Jazeera is funded almost entirely by the government. The public reaction to Al Jazeera’s recent bias has been noticeable. “Al Jazeera’s credibility has fallen in Egypt,” said Osman. In contrast, she has always had a lot of respect for the work of the BBC in the Arab world. BBC Arabic’s recent rise in viewership, a gain of more than 10 million in 2012, suggests that others like Osman could be turning their backs on Al Jazeera after recent events. The question remains, of course, of how and why Al Jazeera’s direction shifted. In reality, its biases did not magically appear in 2012; they have been a factor since the channels’ inception. In 2011, the station was strongly supportive of deposing Mubarak; however, the bias went largely unnoticed since it was a belief also held by millions of Egyptians. Al Jazeera has always received nearly all of its funding from Qatar, and has a history of downplaying any potential criticism against the Qatari government, even on the same issues that it challenges other nations on. Yet, in a culture within which free press has never flourished, this may be the only way for a local news channel to do the kind of job that Al Jazeera has done. Nevertheless, while Al Jazeera’s pro-Qatar and pro-supporters of Qatar slant may have always existed, it was largely irrelevant for the first decade and a half of the station’s existence -and perhaps unavoidable. At the World Affairs Council that I attended in March, Ray Suarez, an American journalist recently hired by Al Jazeera America, received a question from the audience 32
Williams, Lauren. "Inside Doha, at the heart of a GCC dispute." The National.
asking if he believed Al Jazeera was a Middle Eastern news organization with a Middle Eastern slant. “Is the BBC a British news organization with a British slant?” he responded.33 Prior to its coverage of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Al Jazeera was able to provide coverage that was ahead of any other station in the Middle East in terms of both objectivity and quality. In addition to unique coverage and well-researched news, Al Jazeera provided the impetus for local Middle Eastern news stations to improve -- and even training for some of their journalists. Though few rival Al Jazeera in terms of professionalism and technical skill, many of the stations that Fatima Osman once made fun of have had to make advances to stay competitive. Osman, who is one of many Egyptians at home and abroad who are resisting Al Jazeera by turning to other news sources, admitted that they owe it in part to Al Jazeera’s presence that there are other channels worth watching. I no longer want to work for Al Jazeera, not as it stands right now, because I believe that the station’s bias can not be changed by the individual reporters, as witnessed by their exodus from the bureau in Egypt in 2013. But even though its story has turned a dark corner recently, I am still impressed by the channel, which is only appropriate; Al Jazeera has left a huge impression on the Middle East and the world. From its ground-breaking coverage of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to its role in spurring on the Egyptian Revolution in 2011, Al Jazeera has swept the Arab world and given many hope. It has played a role in raising standards for journalism all over the region, and it has given the rest of the world access to world-changing conflicts. Al Jazeera’s recent coverage comes as a huge disappointment to me, considering the initial impression I garnered from “Control Room;” nonetheless, it does not entirely erase the hope and inspiration that the station’s earlier work instilled in me. If anything, it challenges me to examine the news that I hear every day, from Fox to NPR. Bias is, after all, a universal issue. As someone who wishes to deliver the news one day, but also as just a citizen who is besieged by news from every direction in this age of new media, it is my responsibility to look for and begin to understand those biases, so I can understand the different lenses through which we all look at the world.
Suarez, Ray. Interview by Jane M. Wales. San Francisco, CA. March 21, 2014.
Bibliography Al Jazeera. "Memo: Bush wanted Aljazeera bombed." November 22, 2005. http://www.aljazeera.com/ archive/2005/11/2008410151627996559.html. Al Jazeera's account of the bombing memo incident of 2005. The information provided here is very similar to that in most other publications; since the memo was never published, there isn't very much concrete evidence. Several very anti-American Middle Easterners quoted here. Interesting ideas about US/Middle East relationship with respect to journalism.
"Al Jazeera Timeline." http://www.journalism.org/2006/08/22/al-jazeera-timeline/. Pew Research Center's history of major events regarding Al Jazeera from its inception through 2006, around when the attitude of the US towards Al Jazeera appeared to be shifting. Good and unbiased overview, with interesting specific details that are relevant to the US/Middle East press relationship.
Aly, Ramy, Brian Whitaker, Roger Hardy, and Marwan Bishara. "Covering the Arab Spring: Are the Media Getting it Wrong?" Speech, London School of Economics and Political Science, November 24, 2011. English, American and Middle Eastern perspectives on coverage of Arab spring and its reflection of broader international journalistic work. 45 minutes, with some focus on social media (less relevant), but significant time devoted to very relevant ideas.
BBC Trust. "BBC's 'Arab Spring' coverage remarkable and generally impartial, but could have benefited from more breadth and context, Trust review concludes." News release. June 12, 2012. http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/news/press_releases/2012/arab_spring.html. BBC Trust is an organization that works independently from the BBC to review the network's quality. Useful view of western criticism of its own media, though fairly vague in its details of actual coverage. Particularly useful to look at in comparison to a BBC article.
Bin Laden, Osama. Interview by Tayseer Allouni. October 2001. Primary document. 2001 interview that Al Jazeera did with Osama bin Laden, which provoked serious controversy among western media, who claimed Al Jazeera was giving a voice to terrorism.
Blumenthal, Max. "People, power, or propaganda? Unraveling the Egyptian opposition." Al Jazeera, July 19, 2013. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/07/2013717115756410917.html. An entire report that contests the number of protesters proposed by the international media, which Al Jazeera claims ranges from 14 to 30 million (in reality, estimates start as low as 500,000 and stay well below 30 million for the most part). Proposes that no more than 2.8
million people could have been in the protest and suggests that "the people" aren't behind this. Refers to the ousting of Morsi as a "unsavory military coup" and the protests as a "mirage."
Cameron, James. "Journalism and a world in transition: Wadah Khanfar's James Cameron memorial lecture." The Guardian, October 7, 2011. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/oct/07/ james-cameron-memorial-lecture-al-jazeera. An examination of Al Jazeera just months after the revolution. The latter part of the article looks at the media in the Middle East before and during Arab Spring, with only the first section focusing on Al Jazeera's coverage. Al Jazeera portrayed in a heroic, celebratory light.
Chasmar, Jessica. "â€˜We aired liesâ€™: Al-Jazeera staff quit over biased Egypt coverage." Washington Times, July 9, 2013. A brief summary of the events of July 8th 2013, made up mostly of quotes from a couple of staff members. All accusations against Al Jazeera in the article come from former staff members and another Arab journalist.
Curiel, Jonathan. "Whose truth in Iraq? / Arab network profiled in superb documentary." SF Gate, June 11, 2004. http://www.sfgate.com/movies/article/ Whose-truth-in-Iraq-Arab-network-profiled-in-2750357.php. A positive review of the documentary "Control Room" touching on many of the film's major points, which also highlights some of the controversy over the film (the censorship of Lieutenant Rushing since it aired, the potential effect of American viewers' biases on their interpretations of the film's biases).
Davies, Neil. "Parachute journalism leads to poor Middle Eastern reportig." The Digital Universe, March 4, 2014. http://universe.byu.edu/2014/03/04/ parachute-journalism-leads-to-poor-middle-eastern-reporting/. A summary of Matthew Kalman, Jerusalem-based foreign correspondent, talking about the pitfalls of parachute journalism, and its effects during the Arab Spring. Interesting comparison to Al Jazeera's on the ground coverage.
Dersso, Solomon. "June 30th: Egypt's Pandora's Box." Al Jazeera, July 26, 2013. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/07/20137239598320302.html. In considering the legitimacy of the ousting of Morsi, the article compares it to the ousting of Mubarak. Considers the Egyptian support for the Muslim Brotherhood to be half the population ("or more"), which is twice the estimate of most other news sources. Condemns the protests of June 30th for reversing all of Egypt's democratic progress.
Doran, Michael Scott. "The Heirs of Nassar: Who Will Benefit from the Second Arab Revolution?" Information relates mainly to politics and revolution, with little focus on the media; however, there is information about the Nasserite Voice of the Arabs radio station, which was mentioned in Miles' book.
Eldar, Shlomi. "The Rise and Fall of Al Jazeera." Al Monitor, July 14, 2013. http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/07/al-jazeera-political-agenda.html#. Al Monitor is a Middle Eastern news agency founded recently with journalists from all over the Middle East. This article is a thorough examination of Al Jazeera's coverage in the past few years, and particularly in Egypt, but appears to be very heavily anti-Al Jazeera, as the entirety of the piece attacks AJ. Interesting example of the interplay within the Middle Eastern media.
Fayed, Shaimaa, and Yasmine Saleh. "Millions flood Egypt's streets to demand Mursi quit." Reuters. http://Millions flood Egypt's streets to demand Mursi quit. Contains some numerical discrepancies related to June 30th, but takes a questioning stance against some of the higher estimates. Focuses less on the exact number of protesters and more on the meaning and impact of the protest. Some examination of the possibility that the protests are a "coup," and consideration of pro- and anti-Morsi Egyptians' voices.
Hashem, Ali. "The Arab spring has shaken Arab TV's credibility." The Guardian, April 3, 2012. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/apr/03/arab-spring-arab-tv-credibility. Focuses on Arab Spring as a whole rather than events in Egypt, but echoes the same ideas evident in other, Egypt-specific articles, about the shift in Al Jazeera coverage and that of Arab media as a whole. Written by a Lebanese journalist who previously worked for Al Jazeera, before quitting in protest over coverage of Syria.
Hussein, Ghaffar. "The collapse of Al-Jazeera's credibility." The Commentator, February 18, 2013. http://www.thecommentator.com/article/2741/the_collapse_of_al_jazeera_s_credibility. Seems to be heavily biased against Al Jazeera. Much of the language is reminiscent of anti-Al Jazeera speech made during Afghanistan and Iraq by US government officials, including Donald Rumsfeld (eg: the word propaganda is used multiple times).
Interview by Matthew Schweitzer and Dahr Jamail. February 14, 2012. Primary document: an interview with the Online News Producer for Al Jazeera, who worked independently as a journalist during the Iraq War. He talks succinctly about the media's fight to censor the press, both Middle Eastern (Al Jazeera) and US (Jamail, at the time). He also brings up the concept of blacklisting by the US army during the Iraq War.
"Iraq." Freedomhouse. http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2013/iraq#.Uxlg3UtX9Ts. Detailed year by year reports from 2002 onward about the state of the press in Iraq (it has the same for other Middle Eastern countries, but Iraq connects to the other research I've done). Very useful, dense information about specific cases of journalists being censored, injured, arrested, and killed, that connect to broader patterns regarding freedom of the press in Iraq.
Kholaif, Dhalia. "Egypt coup spotlights local media complaints." Al Jazeera (Cairo), July 24, 2013. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/07/201372481744205475.html. Al Jazeera's report on media biases in Egypt addresses the ever present threat of danger for journalists that is underplayed in many western media articles on Middle Eastern reporting. Briefly addresses Al Jazeera's own situation, but focuses mostly on the journalistic situation in Egypt as a whole.
Kingsley, Patrick. "Protesters across Egypt call for Mohamed Morsi to go." The Guardian (Cairo), June 30, 2013. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/30/mohamed-morsi-egypt-protests. Description of the events of June 30th, 2013, with no exact count; the issue of the discrepancy in numbers is addressed briefly and is not the focus of the artice. Input from proand anti-Morsi Egyptians, as well as context for the protests.
Koppel, Andrea, and Elise Labott. "U.S. Pressures Qatar to Restrain TV Outlet." CNN, October 3, 2001. http://edition.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/meast/10/03/ret.us.qatar/. Fairly unbiased CNN article on the specific incident of the Bush administration requesting the Qatari government to reign in Al Jazeera's unflattering reporting of American actions before the war in Afghanistan began officially. Many important public statements from US and Qatari officials included.
Miles, Hugh. Al-Jazeera: The Inside Story of the Arab News Channel That is Challenging the West. An examination of Al Jazeera's position in the cross-hairs of the West and the Middle East. Discusses how Al Jazeera is criticized and censored by Middle Eastern governments, while called a mouthpiece for terrorists by the web.
Osman, Fatima. Interview by the author. Berkeley, CA. April 23, 2013. I spoke with Fatima about her personal experience watching Al Jazeera. Though she came to the States more than two decades ago, Al Jazeera has been her primary news source for years, and her story is a first-hand account of its meteoric rise in the 90's and 2000's and its loss of credibility in the eyes of Middle Easterners after the fall of President Mubarak.
Pew Research Center. "Events in Egypt Trigger Record Coverage." Pew Research Journalism Project. http://www.journalism.org/2011/02/05/pej-news-coverage-index-january-31-february-6-2011/.
Pew report on the end of January in the media, and the huge international media focus on Egypt, with an analysis on why it was captivating to American viewers.
———. "The Fall of Mubarak and the Media." Pew Research Journalism Project. Last modified February 12, 2011. http://www.journalism.org/2011/02/12/ pej-news-coverage-index-february-713-2011/. Broad overview of American coverage of the fall of Mubarak. Shallow but widely ranging glance at the reactions of a number of US newspapers/television news stations that, taken as a whole, seem to reflect the US media as a whole.
Political Crisis in Egypt. "Al-Jazeera Staffers Quit Over Alleged Bias In Egypt Coverage." Natl. Public Radio. July 10, 2013. Hosted by Robert Siegel. http://www.npr.org/2013/07/10/200823466/ al-jazeera-staffers-quit-over-alleged-bias-in-egypt-coverage. Interview with Courtney Radsch, formerly of Freedomhouse, Arab media expert. Fairly positive view Al Jazeera, even in light of 22 staff members quitting. Consideration of Al Jazeera's controversial coverage in relation to the general events in Egypt.
Reeve, William. "Al-Jazeera Kabul Offices Hit in US Raid." BBC News, November 13, 2001. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1653887.stm. Primary document that reflects attitudes in the West towards Al Jazeera at the time of the missile that hit the Kabul bureau. Similar context about Al Jazeera in Afghanistan as other articles, but particular details about the incident.
Rutenberg, Jim, and Bill Carter. "A Nation Challenged: Media; After the Military Strikes, Solid Information and Details Were Slow in Arriving." New York Times, October 8, 2001. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/08/business/ nation-challenged-media-after-military-strikes-solid-information-details-were.html. Primary document: examination of the US' lack of media capability in Afghanistan at the time of the first strikes. Acknowledgment and description of Al Jazeera's role in delivering news from the area.
Seib, Philip. The Al Jazeera Effect. N.p.: Potomac Books, 2008. In-depth analysis of Al Jazeera's effect on foreign and domestic policy. Several chapters on freedom of the press and its connection to the democratization of the Middle East. Analysis of Al Jazeera's modern news techniques and the effects of those on how the Middle East connects to the rest of the world. Found it as a cited source on a Wikipedia article about the history of Al Jazeera.
Shaban, Mohamed Hassan. "22 resign from Al-Jazeera Egypt in protest over bias." Asharq Al-Awsat
(Cairo), July 10, 2013. http://www.aawsat.net/2013/07/article55309195. Almost entirely fact-based article. Describes the recent departure of 22 members of the Egypt bureau with brief context. Interesting quote from one particular reporter about AJ's potential bias towards the Muslim Brotherhood.
Shillue, Edith. "Objectivity in the Mirage: Al-Jazeera and the Struggle to Report a War." Vietnam Veterans Against the War. http://www.vvaw.org/veteran/article/?id=531. A review of the 2004 documentary Control Room, focusing on the idea of objective reporting during war time as it is explored in the film.
Suarez, Ray. Interview by Jane M. Wales. San Francisco, CA. March 21, 2014. World Affairs Council interview with Ray Suarez, host of Inside Story on Al Jazeera America. For the first part of the question and answer session, he talks about Al Jazeera as a Middle Eastern news organization and how he perceives its slant.
Turck, Nancy B. "The Authoritative Al-Ahram." Saudi Aramco World, September/October 1972. 1972 article on another source of media in the Middle East: Egypt's Al-Ahram. Balanced view of the newspaper, with minor focus on the influence of the government and more on the history and logistics of the paper. Useful as a first-hand source of public opinion on the paper, which has been influential in Egyptian media history.
Williams, Lauren. "Inside Doha, at the heart of a GCC dispute." The National. http://www.thenational.ae/world/qatar/inside-doha-at-the-heart-of-a-gcc-dispute. Simple and succinct examination of Qatar's ties to the Muslim Brotherhood both in the past and currently.
"The World Factbook." Central Intelligence Agency. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/ the-world-factbook/geos/qa.html. Broad overview of Qatar and all Middle Eastern countries with regards to population, geography, economics, politics, and more -- very useful and rich source of background information and context. Pictures: 1.
Qatar - https://c2.staticflickr.com/2/1346/5122771659_d881ed8e20_z.jpg
Cartoon - http://www.greenberg-art.com/.Toons/.Toons,%20Media/qqxsgAlJazeera.gif
“The Revolution has been televised” - http://static.guim.co.uk/sysimages/Guardian/About/General/2011/10/7/1318005956848/Al-Jazeera-007.jpg
“Al Jazeera = Freedom?” - http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/apr/03/arab-springarab-tv-credibility
Cover picture: http://mediablinks.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/aljazeera-jobs.jpg
Sierra Leone: Exploring the Advantages and Disadvantages of Foreign Aid in a Developing Country By Hindoveeh Etheridge-Bullie In this paper, I explore the benefits and drawbacks of foreign aid in Sierra Leone. Through mostly personal narratives, I try and paint the picture of the current state of the country, and how it got to be where it is. I add analysis as to where the country is headed, and what the country must do to capitalize on its immense potential that has so far, gone misused by the likes of foreigners and corrupt systems. I explore what certain governmental and non governmental groups claim to be doing, and also give personal opinions based on my own research. In the end I find that the answer to my question of whether foreign aid is benefitting the country or not is much more complex than it initially seemed to be, and can be interpreted in many different ways.
Recently, I accompanied my father on a trip to Sierra Leone, West Africa, to visit his place of birth. On June 19th I arrived at Lungi Airport in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Within twenty minutes, I came to a sudden and shocking realization: this wasn't at all what I had pictured. The grim, nightmarish idea that was imprinted in my mind since the day I had found out I was coming here, of a disorderly and chaotic city that had fallen to a rebel army, was quickly replaced with the much more pleasant reality of tightly knit communities where everyone seemed to genuinely care for each other. This was unlike anything I had ever witnessed in the Bay Area. Initially when my dad brought up the idea of going to Sierra Leone with him, more than anything I was hesitant and somewhat reluctant to agree because while I recognized that I would learn a tremendous amount my heritage and extended community in the country, I was also worried about how I’d assimilate given that he planned to stay for a month at the very least. On the one hand, I felt a strong affinity for this culture because after all, a whole side of my family lives over there. On the other hand, I knew nothing about them and had more questions than connections with my father, Joseph Bullie’s, family. I knew I would certainly have trouble communicating and identifying with them due to the simple fact that I was not (and still am not) at all proficient in either languages that they speak, nor do I share any similar experiences with them because I’ve grown up in such a different environment. At least that’s what I initially thought. Whenever I discussed my upcoming trip to Sierra Leone with my friends from HeadRoyce, the first question I got was, "Isn't that the place where 'Blood Diamonds' was filmed? The country with the child soldiers?”. There was a death toll of approximately 50,000 as a result of the decade long war, and even after five years of peace, it still ranked as the second lowest country on the U.N.’s human development index list1. From that point on I could sense that there was an aspect of unspoken judgment from some of my peers directed at the people in Sierra Leone, my people. More than anything I think my friends' reactions served as an incentive for me to go and see for myself how life really was there. I remember getting all of my vaccinations for the trip and thinking to myself “what have I gotten myself into?” Of course I knew my dad wouldn’t take me somewhere unsafe, but there was no question that I’d be out of my element. My father had returned to his village only a few times since the day my grandfather had adopted him and brought him to Berkeley, a story which
"FACTBOX-Sierra Leone's Civil War." | Reuters. N.p., 02 Aug. 2007. Web. 3 May 2014. <http://uk.reuters.com/article/2007/08/02/uk-leone-warcrimes-war-idUKL0286217420070802>.
I will go into more detail later, and he had been reluctant to take me previously due to the ongoing civil war between the rebel group and the government army, as well as the tension and animosity a lot of people felt towards foreigners because they felt as if it weren’t for the intervention of foreigners in their countries affairs (mainly politics and resource harvesting) they would not be in this violent state. This trip has sparked my interest in the diverse community of Sierra Leone. Though the country itself is commonly described as “undeveloped,” I believe that this description could not be any further from the truth. Booker T. Washington stated that, “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed”; his words seem to encapsulate what I witnessed. By our standards, Sierra Leone is far from an appealing country. On the contrary, true beauty is in the eye of the beholder; given its difficult past of imperialism and civil war, Sierra Leone really has come a long way, which is why I feel that it’s simply misperception that tends to drive us to view the country in this respect. In the future I want to give back by continuing to learn about Sierra Leone and my family there. My only question now is how can I most effectively do so? Before I can even start to answer this question, I think I must understand more the history of the country itself, in order to more accurately assess what went wrong, so to speak.
Sierra Leone’s history up until the present day, has essentially been dictated by external influences. Though there is a strong sense of nationalism within the country in the sense that they all identify as Africans, dating to at least 1787 there has historically been some sort of external presence shaping the route that the country takes2. Unfortunately, from what I have researched, this foreign existence gave some reason for the population not to simply identify as ‘Sierra Leonian’ instead. What once was a country made up of countless tribes, all ruled by various different kings, became a place glued together (for lack of a better phrase) by the introduction of European settlers in the late 18th century which lead to the centralization of people for trade and commercial purposes3. Dating back to the fifteenth century, towards the beginning of the slave trade, western European ships would regularly visit the coasts of western Africa where they were able to convince local rulers to export human slaves in exchange for European fortunes
"Sierra Leone." Info Please. Last modified 2012. Accessed March 8, 2014. http://www.infoplease.com/country/sierraleone.html?pageno=1. 3
"Sierra Leone." Info Please. Last modified 2012. Accessed March 8, 2014. http://www.infoplease.com/country/sierraleone.html?pageno=1.
such as cloths, beads, muskets, and liquor4. This process continued well over two hundred years and severely impacted the demographics and power dynamics of the country. The tribes that did the most ‘exchanging’ (human trafficking) were the wealthiest and plentiful in terms of resources, whereas the ones that did not, suffered from a scarcity of resources in the ever-changing times, and eventually assimilated into other tribes. Around the same time, a group of peoples called the ‘Mane’ people from further down the Western coast of Africa, invaded Sierra Leone, further causing the indigenous groups to consolidate into one large group. Over the span of two decades of fighting and conflict, the better armed and equipped Mane people were able to conquer the majority of the Sierra Leone land, calling themselves the ‘Mende’ tribe, which is to the day considered the ‘warrior clan’ 5. The second minority group was the Temne people, made up of the original Temne clan, and those who went up to northern Sierra Leone to seek refuge from the fighting6. This war itself may not initially seem an important factor to the development of the country, but in fact, this event sparked a huge militarization and downright obsession with war strategy within Sierra Leone. The Mende only were able to conquer so much land because they were more equipped for battle, so after having fought these series of battles, tribes improved their techniques in archery, refined their weapons, and adjusted their tactics in ways that capitalized more on the layout of the land that they knew so well7. As times progressed, European physical presence increased in the country. By 1787, London became aware of its ‘problem’ with too many free slaves, so in efforts to put them in a place where they’d ‘best live and be employed’, the former slaves were transported to a settlement currently known as Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone8. After a rocky start and a relocation to a nearby area, the settlement was established as permanent by the English government and welcomed many other slaves from the
"Sierra Leone." Info Please. Last modified 2012. Accessed March 8, 2014. http://www.infoplease.com/country/sierraleone.html?pageno=1. 5
"History of Sierra Leone - Part 1." Blog.cz. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. <http://whiteshadow.blog.cz/1006/history-of-sierra-leonepart-1>. 6
"History of Sierra Leone - Part 1." Blog.cz. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. <http://whiteshadow.blog.cz/1006/history-of-sierra-leonepart-1>. 7
"History of Sierra Leone - Part 1." Blog.cz. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. <http://whiteshadow.blog.cz/1006/history-of-sierra-leonepart-1>. 8
"History Of Sierra Leone." History World. Accessed March 8, 2014. http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/plaintexthistories.asp?historyid=ad45.
Caribbean and various of other slave trading countries9. Unfortunately, with no common language spoken by the people, English missionaries (who were frequently in Sierra Leone) were able to transform their ways to what resembles European culture. They provided them with a common language of English, and common religion of Christianity 10. In 1896, Britain formally declared Sierra Leone as a territory, which subjected the people in Sierra Leone to British laws. Though Britain was able to profit greatly off of the exploitation of the workers there and exportation of countless amounts of natural resources, after World War II, this operation of imperialism was increasingly seen as immoral. In 1961 Sierra Leone was given its independence, however the outside influence had all but ceased to exist11. This brings up the ethical question, how long should a country have to develop before outside forces are needed to intervene? In the case of Sierra Leone, even with externalities, they quickly spiraled down the wrong path. After numerous different failed elections and power struggles, in 1997 the country erupted in civil war stemming from a violent military coup set out to oust President Kabbah and put in place the rebel group leader Foday Sankoh12. The civil war lasted for approximately a decade, throwing the country back from years of subtle progression. Families were torn apart, children kidnapped (some killed, some mutilated, others picked to fight in the war), and thousands were killed in the crossfire of the brutal internal conflict13. Only following a UN intervention of 17,000 troops in Sierra Leone, was the rebellion brought to a halt, and those who initiated it apprehended and imprisoned. An estimated 50,000 people were killed and over twice that many displaced14. The UN proceeded to hold an election 2002, where President Kabbah was voted back into office by over 70% of the voters15. While the country was on the right track, they still needed assistance.
"History Of Sierra Leone." History World. Accessed March 8, 2014. http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/plaintexthistories.asp?historyid=ad45.
"History Of Sierra Leone." History World. Accessed March 8, 2014. http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/plaintexthistories.asp?historyid=ad45.
"Sierra Leone." Info Please. Last modified 2012. Accessed March 8, 2014. http://www.infoplease.com/country/sierraleone.html?pageno=1. 13 14
Beah, Ishmael. A Long Way Gone. New York, NY: Sarah Crichton Books, 2007.
"Sierra Leone." Info Please. Last modified 2012. Accessed March 8, 2014. http://www.infoplease.com/country/sierraleone.html?pageno=1 15
"Sierra Leone." Info Please. Last modified 2012. Accessed March 8, 2014. http://www.infoplease.com/country/sierraleone.html?pageno=1
Infrastructure was dismantled, the country had nothing to capitalize on in the world economy, and frankly the people were traumatized from the decade of instability. When the war ended, groups such as the UN and other countries as well as NGO’s, have remained in the country to maintain peaceful interactions and rebuild the community. Nigeria sent approximately 700 of their troops over to aid the rebuilding Sierra Leonian army, and UN sent over one thousand peacekeepers as well16. While in the country, I observed some of native’s hesitance to trust the outside forces; because they felt as if they were put into this position by outside forces in the first place, yet it seems like there are two sides to this discussion. On one hand, groups like ‘Campaign for Good Governance’ works in the country to promote democracy, gender equality, and human rights. On the other hand, private companies who claim they are in the country to employ people and bolster development, really have an agenda to steal resources and valuable materials from the country, while paying the workers barely enough to make a living. It seems as if these external forces can be used as great means for foundation of the rebuilding of the country; however if the people of Sierra Leone want to direct their own history, they must learn to become independent; the most difficult task for a country that has always had some sort of outside involvement. The concept of foreign aid is critical to address. Ultimately, what it comes down to is one essential question: is the country benefiting from foreign aid or not? The way I see it is that; because Sierra Leonians don’t necessarily identify as one people, they will continue to have internal tensions and will continue to rely on the ‘help’ of external forces, which can be beneficial in the short term, but stifle the countries natural growth and self-governance. My dad and my grandpa, for example, perfectly characterize the affect foreign aid can have on a micro level. After graduating from graduate school in 1968, to avoid the draft into the Vietnam war my grandfather entered into the Peace Corp, specifically requesting West Africa for his placement, because this was not a region that not many other volunteers put down for their first choice. He saw it as a sure fire way to exempt himself from any future calling to fight. In hindsight, my grandpa describes his experience in the Peace Corp as nothing more than “a tool of America’s foreign policy”, though the mission description stated that “Sierra Leonean Youth will further their educational and 16
"UNAMSIL: United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone - Background." UN News Center. UN, n.d. Web. 03 May 2014. <http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/missions/past/unamsil/background.html>.
employment opportunities through the provision of quality education in English, Science and Mathematics and relevant extra curricular activities”17. He goes on to say that, “by going there [Sierra Leone] and doing a good job, we attempted to better America’s foreign relations however that is not what happened. In some ways, they were better hating America so they can separate themselves from our culture and make a path of their own”18. Yet at the time, he saw his involvement with the Peace Corp as a great opportunity to bridge the gap between the poor and the rich, and in essence to create opportunities for some kids who otherwise would have a very hard time making a living for themselves. The peace Corp itself was established 53 years ago under the issue of president John F. Kennedy. The group is completely volunteer based and the volunteers have the option of working with governments, schools, non-profit organizations, non-government organizations, and entrepreneurs in education, hunger, business, information technology, agriculture, and the environment. My grandpa chose to work as a teacher because he felt that he could best contribute to the community in this area. Over the course of his threeyear service as a teacher, he and my father developed a close bond, in and outside of the classroom. My dad assisted my grandfather in getting around and doing chores at his house, and in return my grandfather paid his school fees and tutored him. According to him, my dad was one of the most hard working, genuine, and bright students he had ever had the pleasure of working with over the course of several years, so when his time was up in the Peace Corp, he wasted no time in returning home and immediately getting papers in line for my dad’s student visa. In my dad’s village, this is seen as a huge opportunity; every parent dreamed of having a kid who was able to obtain a western education so that one day they would come back and better the community he/she was born in. With this in mind, and the fact that my dad’s birth father had died recently adding a strain on my dad’s eldest brother to provide by himself the bare minimum he can for a family of seven, my dad’s family was in favor of letting him leave the country. Interestingly enough, when I asked my grandfather if he still thinks it was the best move to bring my dad here. He simply said he didn’t know because, “There is no one ‘perfect’ place to live. Your dad was forced to adjust to and adopt to a new culture. With that came a whole new set of challenges, a lot of which I couldn’t help him with because I myself didn’t understand how the world worked. I like to 17 18
"Projects." Sierraleone. Peace Corp, n.d. Web. 03 May 2014. <http://sierraleone.drupalgardens.com/content/projects>. "Interview With Grandpa About Sierra Leone." Personal interview. 06 Apr. 2014.
think that I provided him with a better alternative, but can I confidently say that this was the right decision. Absolutely not”.19 On the other hand, my dad is certain that he benefitted from leaving the country at such a young age. Particularly because soon after he left, the country broke out into civil war in 1991. One can only imagine what his life would have been like had he stayed. Years later, my dad goes back to his village semi-frequently to build houses, implement improvements to the local schoolhouse, and try to increase the locals skills set in such a way that they are able to produce something as a village that they can profit on in the small market. Unfortunately, according to him he has not seen very much progress since when he left at the age of thirteen. A big part of this can be attributed to the civil war and the tremendous destruction it caused, not only in terms of infrastructure and government, but also in terms of leaving a generation of kids to grow up without parents. In the brutal conflict, families torn apart, and thousands of peoples were displaced in an attempt to save their own lives. My dad says that, “This war, as well as the internal corruption within the government, has only lead to bad things in Sierra Leone, and many other African nations like it. I’m not sure if the Sierra Leonian people should be held accountable, or frankly the foreigners who pressure the population of people, typically those from the city, to think and act in a certain demeanor. I can’t necessarily say one or the other was responsible, probably a combination of the two, but I’m certain that the war was a by-product of years of civil discontentment”20. So far, it seems as if the answer to my question is pretty clear then, foreign aid is certainly taking a toll on the civilian life, and so far we have seen no clear progress, so it must be bad..right? Because Sierra Leone is a member of the United Nations, there is a satellite headquarters in Freetown where the government works in partnership with the UN. This headquarters, called the United Nations Integrated Office In Sierra Leone, was established in 2006 after the war as a result of ‘Resolution 1620’ which essentially was a unanimously voted piece of legislature that seeks to maintain peace following the fighting. Along with this, the country has over 75 different NGO groups21 working to better the country from within; so apparently the answer is not that simple. The NGO I was briefly able 19 20 21
"Interview With Grandpa About Sierra Leone." Personal interview. 06 Apr. 2014. "Interview With Dad About Sierra Leone." Personal interview. 7 Apr. 2014.
"List of Charities and NGOs in Sierra Leone." Charities and NGOs in Sierra Leone -. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2014.
to get in contact with, Amnesty International, argued that they in fact were making significant contributions to the country by providing refugees with opportunities to make a life in America for themselves and their families, as well as providing them with some sort of schooling. What I took away from this is that they almost thought the best thing to do at the moment was to take the younger generation of people from the country, in order to give them a better chance at receiving an adequate education and hope that they would then return to their country and work to make it better; similar to what the families in my dad’s village thought. Whether this has worked or not thus far, I am not too clear; the IRC wouldn’t get back to me the more I sent them emails, but basically it looks as if what they see as right, from an outsider point of view, is in complete contrast with what my grandpa and father think after having lived in the country for so long. After a month of living in Sierra Leone, I returned to my privileged lifestyle in the Bay Area, however I have not forgotten the meaningful lessons that I learned from my relatives. For instance, while I was there I was constantly observing how everything they had in their possession was treated with respect and value; even the small and so called insignificant things I would typically pay no mind to. The discarded and dilapidated toys that I wouldn’t think twice about in America provided endless hours of play for my younger family members, while the old eating utensils and books donated to them were highly appreciated by the elders. However, most striking to me during my trip was my family’s collective efforts to include me in every conversation and discussion, even though we did not speak the same language. While initially problematic, the language barrier did not pose much of a complication for long because my family was just as interested in hearing me, as I was in them. To be quite honest, I think the research I did for this project only confused me more on why this country, and other countries like it have yet to flourish. I understand that Sierra Leone has a tragic history and their growth has been repeatedly restrained by conflict, however what I do not grasp is why they have remained in a state of stagnancy. In relation to external aid services, it is hard to determine whether they are effective or not because the only people who truly are aware of what is going on is the people who lead them. My efforts to reach out to them proved to be useless, which alludes to the idea that maybe there are some things they intended to keep from the eyes of the public. Personally, my takeaway is that external forces in Sierra Leone can be extremely helpful; and in most cases vital to development. However there is a spectrum that must be kept in mind. I think Sierra Leone is certainly negatively impacted by a ‘brain drain’ within the country, however as the country
currently stands there are virtually no ways for someone of the youth population to further their education within the state. In the near future, I hope to contribute to the community of Sierra Leone and give back to the less fortunate in the best way that I see fit. There is not necessarily a ‘right answer’ in addressing where to start aiding the country, but there is no doubt that aid is needed. I think the most important thing the country needs is a stable, trustworthy and transparent government that the citizens can rely on, in order to work as a basis for growth and a support system for the new generation. If this were to be achieved civil unrest would decline, and the populations faith in their country will be renewed, ultimately leading to a more unified people. I am predicting that in this decade, Sierra Leone will capitalize on their premier beaches that or on the western coast of the country, and slowly begin to build a market around commercial tourism. Though ideally this would not be the sole source of income, this will surely serve as a foundation for something larger in the future. The country of Sierra Leone has a lot of potential and I’m sure i am not the only one that recognizes this; all that is needed now are the crucial first steps to bring all the pieces they have together.
Bibliography Beah, Ishmael. A Long Way Gone. New York, NY: Sarah Crichton Books, 2007. "History of Sierra Leone - Part 1." Blog.cz. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. <http://whiteshadow.blog.cz/1006/history-of-sierra-leone-part-1>. "FACTBOX-Sierra Leone's Civil War." | Reuters. N.p., 02 Aug. 2007. Web. 3 May 2014. <http://uk.reuters.com/article/2007/08/02/uk-leone-warcrimes-war-idUKL0286217420070802>. "Country Profile: Sierra Leone." In The World Factbook. Last modified July 2013. Accessed March 2, 2014. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sl.html. Diaz, Philippe. "The Empire in Africa." Top Documentary Films. http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/ empire-africa/. "History Of Sierra Leone." History World. Accessed March 8, 2014. http://www.historyworld.net/ wrldhis/plaintexthistories.asp?historyid=ad45. "Sierra Leone." Info Please. Last modified 2012. Accessed March 8, 2014. http://www.infoplease.com/ country/sierra-leone.html?pageno=1.
Sierra Leone Government. "List Of NGO." Sierra Leone Web. Last modified 2013. Accessed March 8, 2014. http://www.sierra-leone.org/links-ngo.html. "U.S. Trade Goods With Sierra Leone." United States Census Bereau. Last modified 1992. Accessed 2013. https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c7470.html. "6 Free Financial Modeling Lessons...and More." How To Fix Africa In 3 Easy Steps. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Apr. 2014. <http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/blog/how-to-fix-africa-in-3-easy-steps>.
"CONVENTION ON PROTECTION OF CHILDREN AND CO-OPERATION IN RESPECT OF INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION." Hague Confrence On Private International Law. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2014. <http://www.hcch.net/upload/conventions/txt33en.pdf>. Dodani, Sunita, and Ronald E. LaPorte. "Abstract." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 26 Apr. 0006. Web. 09 Apr. 2014. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1275994/>. "Interview With Grandpa About Sierra Leone." Personal interview. 06 Apr. 2014. "MS 206ADOPTION OF CHILDREN BY VOLUNTEERS." Peace Corp. United States Government, n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2014. <http://files.peacecorps.gov/manuals/manual/200_Volunteers/200_209_Eligibility_and_Standards/MS_2 06/Adoption_of_Children_by_Volunteers.pdf>. "Non-governmental Organization." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 04 Aug. 2014. Web. 01 Apr. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-governmental_organization>. "Understanding the Hague Convention." Adoptions Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2014. <http://adoption.state.gov/hague_convention/overview.php>. "UNAMSIL: United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone - Background." UN News Center. UN, n.d. Web. 03 May 2014. <http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/missions/past/unamsil/background.html>. "Projects." Sierraleone. Peace Corp, n.d. Web. 03 May 2014. <http://sierraleone.drupalgardens.com/content/projects>. "List of Charities and NGOs in Sierra Leone." Charities and NGOs in Sierra Leone -. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2014.
The Taliban’s Afghanistan: Sharia Law and Its Religious Justifications By Madeline Cook “I say to the Taliban: surrender the terrorists; or surrender power. It's your choice.” -Tony Blair “We will continue our Jihad” -Taliban commander Mullah Zahid “These gentlemen are the moral equivalent of America’s founding fathers” -Ronald Reagan about the Taliban
Afghanistan Flag vs. Taliban Flag
Though I began the semester entertaining the idea of writing about terrorism, I quickly realized that the controversy of Islam was far more interesting to me than an isolated attack by radical Muslims. Therefore, I chose the Taliban’s establishment of Sharia Law in between 1996, after the storming of Kabul and overturn of the Soviet-supported government, and 2001, when US armies forced the Taliban out of Afghanistan and into Pakistan. I explore many aspects of this topic, beginning with the history of Afghanistan since the Soviet invasion in 1979. After that I discuss the individual edicts of the Taliban’s “constitution,” including punishments for committing a crime. I then turn to the Qur’an itself to find passages supporting and/or disparaging Sharia Law. Finally, I follow the Taliban out of Afghanistan in 2001 and explore the future of Afghanistan as the United States withdraws its forces. Looking forward, the Taliban remains in a very fragile place as it prepares to undergo its first handover of power as President Karzai is constitutionally required to relinquish his spot in office for new democratically elected leader. I grew up Catholic, and constantly felt betrayed by the church as it lashed out against gay rights, abortion rights, and many other things in which I believed. I knew there were passages in the bible condemning homosexual relationships, and I was aware of the underlying sexism exhibited in scenes like the Garden of Eden, when Eve consumes the forbidden fruit. I was confused, however, because the bible also contains verses with messages of unconditional love and acceptance. In a way, I felt like I could relate to Muslims who felt betrayed by the leaders of their church, those who felt like their religion was receiving bad publicity and were hurt by it. Many Muslims and Christians, like me, who try to overlook the parts of their religion they disagree with, are called unbelievers and betrayers of the church. Meanwhile, extremists who are doing the same thing, disregarding parts of the Qur’an or Bible that advocate peace and love in favor of the parts that argue power, have all the control. And then two planes hit the world trade center, one hit the pentagon, and one landed in a field in Pennsylvania. The ability for extremists to overlook messages of love in favor of hate reached a scale unfathomably violent. Terrorism became the foremost word associated with Islam, and a frightening sense of insecurity began to take hold. Since then, I’ve been deemed part of the “9/11 generation” without ever knowing what it meant. What was my association with the event? Was I supposed to know something as an insider and member of this “generation”? Sure, I knew about the plane hijackings, Osama Bin Laden, and Al Qaeda, but nobody could ever tell me why it
happened in the first place. What was the justification for the attack? I always thought religion advocated peace and harmony. I wanted the truth, and that meant finding an impartial opinion. I enrolled in the 9/11 GOA course and found a lot of the answers I was looking for, like how the event was accomplished financially and strategically. I quickly realized, however, that secret meetings, hiding cells, and untraceable phone calls were not the real answers. Rather it was Sharia law, the ancient governing code that allowed violence in the name of Islam to be lawful. With Afghanistan’s recent history of the Taliban insurgency, their establishment of Sharia Law, and direct relationship to Bin Laden, it seemed like a good place to start. The birthplace of the Taliban, or more specifically the rebel groups that would eventually become the Taliban, can be traced back to time of Soviet occupation in Afghanistan. After the People’s Democratic Republic of Afghanistan overthrew King Zahir Shah during the Saur Rebellion in 1978, a socialist government with close ties to the Soviet Union took his place1. Quickly, communist rebel groups became prominent throughout Eastern Afghanistan. Following a friendship treaty at the end of the year between Afghanistan and the USSR, the United States began to fund these “Mujahedeen” rebels.2 A couple years of limbo between Soviet leaders and Afghan leaders led seamlessly into an Afghan civil war between Soviet forces and Mujahedeen rebels, who were now a fully equipped army. It is estimated that the Reagan administration gave roughly $20 million to the rebel forces that battled the communist government. Despite that aid, the Soviet Union remained a large force in the country, continuing to use Afghanistan in order to establish a stronghold of power in the Middle East.
Barnett R. Rubin, The Fragmentation of Afghanistan, Yale University Press, 2002 Admin, “A Historical Timeline of Afghanistan,” PBS Newshour, May 4th 2011
Russian Troops cross the border into Afghanistan
American and Russian armies withdrew in 1989, around the time of the breakup of the Soviet Union, but left in their tracks a war-torn country with rebels unable to accept defeat. Internal violence raged as Mujahedeen forces sought to overthrow the Soviet backed President, Mohammed Najibullah. They succeeded in 1994 when rebels stormed the capital, Kabul, and installed Burhannudin Rabbani, the leader of the Northern Alliance, as President.3 The country, however, was in disarray as 6.2 million refugees had already fled and those that remained were poor, scared, and in mourning.4 Enter the Taliban. The Taliban seized control of Kabul in 1996,5 at which point a very sick and tired Afghanistan was quick to succumb to their promise of peace and religious harmony. Rather, they established strict Islamic law, and it wasn’t long before the whole world began to realize what a nightmare Afghanistan had become.
“Taliban’s History in Afghanistan,” CNNWorld, December 8, 2010 “Afghanistan 10 years after Soviet pull-out,” UNHCR, February 12, 1999 5 “Timeline: Taliban in Afghanistan,” Al Jazeera, July 4, 2009. 4
Kabul in 1996, shortly after the Taliban insurgence
In November 1996, after the storming of Kabul, the Taliban released a list of edicts that all Afghan citizens were required to follow based on their interpretation of Sharia Law.6 These laws could be grouped into three areas: women and families, hospital rules, and general rules. Women were prohibited from leaving their home in anything short of a full body veil, and tight fitting clothing was deemed illegal: “In case women are required to go outside the residence... they should cover themselves in accordance with Islamic Sharia regulation. If women are going outside with fashionable, ornamental, tight and charming clothes to show themselves, they will be cursed by the Islamic Sharia and should never expect to go to heaven.” (Maruk, Munkar 1996) Furthermore, it was the responsibility of other family members to make sure that women were following these rules, or they too would face consequences: “...these women will be threatened, investigated and severely punished as well as the family elders by the forces of the Religious Police” (Maruk, Munkar 1996). Women were unable to have jobs outside the home, says Mullah Nooruddin Turabi: "If a woman wants to work away from her home and with men, then that is not allowed by our religion and our culture.”7 The last edict stated that “the Religious Police have the responsibility and duty
Isambard Wilkinson & Ashraf Ali, “Taliban unveils hardline Afghan constitution,” The Telegraph, September 29, 2007 7 Turabi, Mullah, Taliban Minister of Justice
to struggle against these social problems and [would] continue their effort until evil is finished,” virtually depriving citizens of the right to a fair trial. The next section of edicts entitled “Hospital Rules and Prohibitions,” mostly concerned itself with the relationship between a male physician and female patient. Ideally, this interaction would never take place, as “female patients should go to female physicians” (Omar 1996). But in a necessary situation, “the female patient should be accompanied by her close relative” (Omar 1996). In addition, the male physician could not examine any other part of the female body except that which was affected, and both persons were required to wear full hijab when in consult. Female physicians had to “wear simple clothes” (Omar 1996) and were prohibited from wearing makeup. They were banned from entering a male patient’s room; likewise, male physicians could not enter a female patient’s room at night, regardless of the emergency. Lastly, all hospital staff was required to pray in the mosque on time, despite their job duties. Similar to the first section: “The Religious Police [were] allowed to go for control at any time and nobody [could] prevent them” (Omar 1996). There were extensive rules to regulate personal activities, which affected the day-to-day lives of every Afghan citizen. The list of illegal acts is long and the Taliban prohibited many seemingly trivial things, including music, shaving, kite flying, and dancing. Shopkeepers could not own cassette tapes for fear of imprisonment, and if cassettes were found in a car then the driver would be thrown in jail: “To prevent music. In shops, hotels, vehicles and rickshaws cassettes music are prohibited... If any music cassette found in a shop, the shopkeeper should be imprisoned and the shop locked… If cassette found in the vehicle, the vehicle and the driver will be imprisoned.“ (Maruf 1996) Anyone caught with a shaved beard was to be incarcerated until his or her beard had grown out. This law was enacted one and a half months after the original list was published. Kites and all shops selling kites were destroyed immediately, and dancing was a crime: “To prevent music and dances in wedding parties. In the case of violation the head of the family will be arrested and punished” (Maruf 1996).
Idolatry and sorcery were both prohibited, and all magicians were locked up until they repented. Additionally, gambling and the use of narcotics were both deemed illegal. In urban areas, nobody was allowed to play with birds, and so all pigeons found on the street were to be killed. Meanwhile, in rural areas, women could no longer wash their clothes in a river or lake.
The religious police strictly regulated these new laws, and breaking one of them often earned the perpetrator a lot more than jail time. Public punishments were a common occurrence, often in the form of floggings during halftime shows at sports events, public stoning and amputation.89 In fact, many of the typical punishments can be found in the Qur’an, and so can Sharia Law. The Qur’an is the primary source of Sharia Law because it is considered the direct word of God.10 The Qur’an can be arranged into three sections: speculative theology, ethics, and rules of human conduct; the last section is where most Sharia Law interpretations originated. The second source of Sharia Law is Sunnah, which is the
Scott Baldauf, “Life under Taliban cuts two ways,” The Christian Science Monitor, September 20, 2001 9 “The Status of Women in Afghanistan,” Physicians for Human Rights, The Taliban’s War on Women, August 1998 10 Mutahhari, Morteza. "Jurisprudence and its Principles". Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an. Retrieved 2008-07-26.
hadith of Muhammad, a collection of traditions based upon sayings by Muhammad.11 Sharia law is defined as “Islamic canonical law prescribing both religious and secular duties and retributive penalties for law breaking” (New Oxford American Dictionary).12 The Taliban considers itself deeply religious and knowledgeable about the right way of life. That said, how did they rationalize what is considered by the western world as an unjust totalitarian rule that violated fundamental human rights? The answer lies in the Taliban’s unique interpretation of Sharia Law, the Qur’an, and Islam.
A woman who has most likely committed adultery is buried alive
Sharia Law is ambiguous, and as a result, incredibly controversial. Furthermore, it’s origins in ancient texts cause obscurity in its application to the modern world. It was largely developed by the 10th century, but continuously debated and edited according to rulings by groups of religious scholars.13 In places like Afghanistan where Sharia Law is regulation, Qadis, Sharia judges, decide on Islamic jurisprudence. The line remains blurred, however, and there are many interpretations that range from
Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad, Sunnah.com New Oxford American Dictionary 2nd edition © 2005 by Oxford University Press, Inc. 13 Sadakat Kadri, Sharia History: A Timeline of 1,400 Years of Islamic Jurisprudence, Huffingtonpost.com, June 1st 2012 12
extreme to minimal. Some see it as a way of life, and for others it’s merely a set of beliefs. Whose opinion is right? What does Muhammad’s message from Allah mean? Where in the Qur’an does it support or undermine different interpretations? The problem is that brings it right back to the vagueness of the document. Granted, many elements of the version of Sharia Law that was practiced by the Taliban can be found in the Qur’an. For example, it does sanction misogyny and spousal violence in this passage: Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand. (Qur’an 4:34) Another translator maintains the antifeminist stance: “Men are guardians of women, because Allah has made one superior to the other” (Qur’an 4:34). On the other hand, it labels men and women as equals in other passages: “Their Lord responded to them: I never fail to reward any worker among you for any work you do, be you male or female you are equal to one another” (Qur’an 3:195). The Qur’an also contains verses confirming many trivial laws; like gambling and drinking: “They ask you about wine and gambling. Say, in them is great sin and [yet, some] benefit for people. But their sin is greater than their benefit” (Quran 2:219). Some scholars believe that because the Taliban (and other extremists) use other religious documents as a source for Sharia Law, like the Sunnah, they are able to pick and choose more carefully which passages to ignore and which to adhere to, all while remaining rightful Muslims in the eyes of Allah. The Qur’an also contains punishments should a Muslim break Sharia Law. For adultery, both men and women are to be “…flogged with one hundred lashes. Absolutely no mercy is to be given. It is to be witnessed by a group of Muslims. The adulterers can only marry a person who has been found guilty of the same crime or an
unbeliever in the religion or Islam” (Qur’an 24:2,3). Many punishments made an attempt to fit the crime; the unlawful act was to be reciprocated upon the culprit. For example, death was punished with death unless the family of the murdered forgave and “…Men or women who steal must have their hands cut off as a reward for their deeds. This will be an example for others” (Qur’an 5:38). Radical Islam is only one way of practicing the religion, and extremist remain a small, but prominent, sect. Of the 1.3 billion Muslims, only around 91 million (7%) are suspected radicals, not to mention that only a small portion of those would take their devotion to a violent level.14 Other Muslims consider radical Islam to be a completely different religion. Many are ashamed and embarrassed, but are still treated as dangerous beings because their Religion is associated with violence. After 9/11, the Organization of the Islamic Conference issued a statement saying: “These terrorist acts contradict the teaching of all religions and human and moral values." Furthermore, Bernard Haykel, a professor at New York University noted that millions of Muslims have publicly condemned Bin Laden. He also said “it is extremely important for Muslims to realize that the phenomenon of bin Laden is as dangerous to Islam as it is to the West.” Other countries considered the Taliban’s radical interpretation of Islam an internal matter. The US looked the other way for many years, even choosing to ignore the role they had in funding the Mujahedeen forces that eventually became the Taliban. But when the national application of Sharia law escalated to attempts at imposing it on an international scale, the US, UN and other countries began to notice the threat Afghanistan posed to democracy.
Abe Greenwald, Muslim survey “challenges” west, commentary magazine, 2/27/2008
Taliban troops maintaining order
The Taliban’s downfall began the moment they started aiding Osama Bin Laden’s growing passion for violent religious takeovers. His mission to create an Islamic world by destroying anything that stood in his way seemed to correspond directly with the Taliban’s habit of using violent means in their quest to make Afghanistan a pure, religious state. During Soviet Afghanistan times Operation Cyclone, a CIA program called that channeled funds through Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency, and the Saudi Arabian government were the two biggest financial contributors15 of Mujahedeen forces. They in turn shared that money with their allied jihad (holy war) members. Osama Bin Laden received a lot of this money, using it to establish training camps throughout Afghanistan, the very same ones that would later become the base camps for Al-Qaeda and their anti-American campaign. In 1998, three years after the Taliban takeover, Al-Qaeda bombed two American embassies in Eastern Africa, killing 300 civilians.16 The United States, with support from the UN, demanded the extradition of Bin Laden. The Taliban refused, however, so the UN bombarded them with trade and economic sanctions, thus alienating them from the western world. After 9/11, the US
"1986–1992: CIA and British Recruit and Train Militants Worldwide to Help Fight Afghan War". Cooperative Research History Commons. 16 “Timeline: Taliban in Afghanistan,” Al Jazeera, July 4, 2009.
again called for the turnover of Bin Laden. The Taliban refused again17. Then, U.S. and British forces launched airstrikes over Afghanistan, and the Taliban responded with a statement that they were ready for jihad. In October of 2011, with the help of British armies and the Northern Alliance, an anti-Taliban group, the US invaded Afghanistan and moved quickly south.18 By early December, the Taliban surrendered its last province, Zabul, and left Afghanistan for Pakistan, officially ending Taliban rule in Afghanistan.
Just 18 years earlier, in 1983, Reagan welcomed the Taliban to the White House
Unfortunately, they left behind an Afghanistan similar to that after Soviet withdrawal in 1989, and therefore highly susceptible to internal strife and chaos. American forces remained in Afghanistan, establishing an Islamic Republic led by president Hamid Karzai. The country continues to be heavily influenced by Islam; the Supreme Court has passed many laws decreasing women’s rights, and it was voted the third most corrupt country19 in the world. Moreover, the government has shown constant
“Taliban’s History in Afghanistan,” CNNWorld, December 8, 2010 “Timeline: Taliban in Afghanistan,” Al Jazeera, July 4, 2009. 19 "Corruption Perceptions Index 2010 Results." Transparency International. 2010. Archived from the original on 1 March 2011 18
signs of fraudulence. Though the 2004 reelection of Karzai was well done, the 2009 reelection was discredited due to lack of turnout and suspected cheating. This all makes for a very interesting 2014 election. Karzai is unable to run again do to term limits, so for the first time since the removal of the Taliban, Afghanistan is having their first democratic turnover of power.20 Before primary elections there were eleven candidates “…ranging from the man who first invited Osama bin Laden to Afghanistan to a chat show host and retired pilot” (Emma Graham-Harrison). The first round of voting occurred April 5th, and since no candidate received more than 50% of the vote, the final election will take place on June 7th. There are eight candidates still running, and opinion polls show Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani as the frontrunners.21 The Independent Election Committee is working hard to keep the elections fair and safe, but that outcome is uncertain. For example, upon registration, voters receive cards that confirm that they are approved for voting, but many fake cards were circulated in past elections. This year, it is hard to determine which cards are true or false. In addition, the Taliban has threatened to launch attacks on Afghan citizens waiting to vote. As a result, a solid voting turnout was questionable up until the election. Luckily, the primary elections received over 6 million voters, an impressive number for Afghanistan.22
"Afghanistan presidential vote date is announced". BBC News. 30 October 2012. “Afghanistan Election Guide: Everything you need to know,” Emma Graham-Harrison, The Guardian. 3 February 2014. 22 “2014 Election Results,” IEC.org, 5 April 2014 21
Taliban women waiting in line to vote with their registration cards
The future of the Taliban remains uncertain. As the US aims to have all troops withdrawn by December 2014,23 the Taliban is threatening to return to Afghanistan. This threat and the upcoming election make for an unstable Afghanistan. Last time Afghanistan was unstable, after the withdrawal of US and Soviet troops in the 90s, they turned to Sharia Law for comfort, causing a decade of human rights violations and civil unrest. On the other hand, Afghanistan is in an incredible position to start down a path towards strength and security. If they prove to themselves they can survive these next few years, who knows what can be accomplished next.
Annotated Bibliography: “Video allegedly showing Arafat Waheed Khan,” BBC News Video, 0:10, April 4th 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7330367.stm "I would like to thank Allah for giving me this opportunity to bless me with this Shahada [martyrdom]. I ask Allah to forgive me for all my sins, to accept me as a martyr. I ask Allah to help the Mujahedeen everywhere in every way." “Video allegedly showing Waheed Zaman,” BBC News Video, 0:20, April 4th 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7330367.stm "May he raise us on the Day of Judgment to be with the prophets, martyrs and people in the right path. May Allah bless the Mujahedeen with victory upon victory wherever they may be and may he focus their
“CIA falls back in Afghanistan,” The Daily Beast, Kimberly Dozier, 5 April 2014
aim and may he make them of the patient ones. I have not been brainwashed. I have been educated to a high standard. I am old enough to make my own decisions." Admin, “A Historical Timeline of Afghanistan,” PBS Newshour, May 4th 2011 Bin Laden formed Al Qaeda in September 1988, 11 years after the Soviet Invasion in Afghanistan. His followers opposed the communist regime, lending support to Mujahideen forces and bringing new energy to a raging civil war. American and Russian armies withdrew in 1989, but internal violence continued as Mujahideen rebels sought to overthrow the soviet backed President, Mohammed Najibullah. They achieved success in 1992 when rebel forces stormed Kabul, the capital, and installed Burhannudin Rabbani, the leader of the group Northern Alliance, as president. The Taliban seized control in 1996, with the help of Al-Qaeda. The war torn Afghanistan was quick to succumb to their promise of peace and religious harmony. Unfortunately they established strict Islamic law, for example prohibiting women to work and creating “Islamic” punishments such as stoning and amputation. It wasn’t until 1998 that outside countries began to pay careful attention to the Taliban, after Bin Laden was accused of bombing two US embassies in Africa. The US attacked Al Qaeda training camps, failing to hit any targets, and UN imposed an air embargo and financial sanctions to force Afghanistan to hand over Bin Laden. The Taliban refused. In September of 2001, after the hijacking of the planes that flew into the twin towers, pentagon, and field in Pennsylvania, the US again demanded Bin Laden, the primary suspect. The Taliban again refused. In October of 2011, with the help of British armies and the Northern Alliance, an anti-taliban group, the US invaded Afghanistan and moved quickly south. By early December, the Taliban surrendered its last province, Zabul, and left Afghanistan for Pakistan, officially ending Taliban rule in Afghanistan. “Taliban’s History in Afghanistan,” CNNWorld, December 8, 2010 “Timeline: Taliban in Afghanistan,” Al Jazeera, July 4, 2009. The Taliban began as a faction of the Mujahideen rebel forces during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. It was populated mostly by Pashtuns, an ethnic group in Southeastern Afghanistan, Due to substantial aid from America and other NATO allies, the Taliban and Mujahideen were able to combat soviet forces with greater strength, eventually causing their withdrawal. After that, Pakistan provided the Taliban with ample machinery to help them take over Afghan cities. They surged Kabul in 1994, officially ruling Afghanistan with minimal pressure from the Northern Alliance. In 1997, the leader of the Taliban, Mullah Mohammed Omar, united with Osama Bin Laden, providing him with space and money to establish Jihad training camps in Kundahar. Isambard Wilkinson & Ashraf Ali, “Taliban unveils hardline Afghan constitution,” The Telegraph, September 29, 2007 -Women are fully veiled and educated according to Sharia Law -human rights are ignored if they are contrary to the teachings of islam -On freedom of speech the Taliban charter, which is written in Pashto and Dari, is clear: "Every Afghan has the right to express his feelings through his views, writings or through other means in accordance with the law." However "un-Islamic thought" is strictly forbidden and "violators will be punished according to sharia" - under the Taliban's strict interpretation of Islamic teachings. Scott Baldauf, “Life under Taliban cuts two ways,” The Christian Science Monitor, September 20, 2001 -Taliban aiming for pure fundamentalist rule -Socioeconomic fabric of country has been drastically disrupted -By 2001, more than a quarter of Afghanistan’s population (25 million) relies entirely on aid agencies for food and other resources -"They have made a very good peace, they have collected weapons from the people, they stopped poppy cultivation [a source of opium], they stopped foreign interference - and especially religious conversions of our Muslims - and they started electricity in Afghanistan. That is their legacy." -Abdul Qudus, an ethnic Afghan and religious scholar who runs a madrassah, or religious school, for young Afghans in the Jalozai refugee camp near Peshawar, Pakistan
-Rural communities say their lives haven’t changed much because they followed Sharia Law already, but urban centers had a more difficult time adhering to strict rules. -Laws: No Music No bead cutting, or else imprisonment until beard is bushy again No Idolatry No washing cloth by young ladies along the water streams in the city. Violator ladies should be picked up with respectful Islamic manner, taken to their houses, and their husbands severely punished -The Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice is police -Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar banned opium because Sharia bans addiction -Only three nations - Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates - have granted official recognition to the Taliban government -US needs to take responsibility for their role, during Soviet invasion they encouraged muslims to unite and fight soviets, then abandoned the country when soviets left Feminist Majority Foundation, “Campaign for Afghan Women and Girls,” Feminist.org -Banished women from the work force -Closed schools to girls and women and expelled women from universities -Prohibited women from leaving their homes unless accompanied by a close male relative -Ordered the publicly visible windows of women's houses painted black and forced women to wear the burqa (or chadari) - which completely shrouds the body, leaving only a small mesh-covered opening through which to see -Prohibited women and girls from being examined by male physicians while at the same time prohibited female doctors and nurses from working 9. http://middleeast.about.com/od/afghanista1/a/me080907c.htm “The Status of Women in Afghanistan,” Physicians for Human Rights, The Taliban’s War on Women, August 1998 https://s3.amazonaws.com/PHR_Reports/afghanistan-taliban-war-onwomen-1998.pdf **Refer to page 29 for history of Afghan Women (may or may not be necessary) -public is summoned to watch amputations, stonings, and executions -Every Friday, the Taliban terrorizes the city of Kabul by publicly punishing alleged wrongdoers in the Kabul sports stadium and requiring public attendance at the floggings, shootings, hangings, beheadings, and amputations -Men are beaten and jailed for not wearing beards of sufficient length -page 33 “Women’s Health and Human Rights Survey,” Physicians for Human Rights, The Taliban’s War on Women, August 1998 -Subjects consisted of female heads of household who had lived in Kabul at least two years before September 1996. -71% of women reported a decline in health since Taliban Insurgents -37% reported their health conditions interfered with daily activities -20% reported no access to healthcare -81% of women reported a decline in mental health since Taliban Insurgents -Self reported symptoms→ (42%) respondents met the diagnostic criteria for PTSD; 155 (97%) met criteria for major depression, 86% demonstrated symptoms of anxiety -69% of responders reported a family member had been temporarily detained by Taliban Police -Detention of men can include not being at a mosque for prayer time, flying a kite, playing music, laughing too loudly Andy King, “The Taliban’s Interpretation of Islam,” Normlife.com, 2003, http://www.normlife.com/documents/original/the_talibans_interpretation_of_islam.htm -Sunni Islam is the major sect of Islam with ninety percent of all Muslims adhering to the Sunni beliefs
-Its name comes from the importance of the Sunnah or the example set by the life of the prophet Muhammad (Sunni Islam). The Sunnah connects to the establishment of Shari’a, or Islamic law, as the examples of how Muhammad lived his life were taken as how every Muslim should live (Sansal). Sunni Islam is very literal in its interpretation of the Koran. -All of the laws in Shari’a and how they were enforced came from the Taliban’s education in Deoband schools. http://www.ahl-alquran.com/English/document.php?page_id=918 Note→ These are (primary source) excerpts from the Quran, all of which provide substance for Sharia Law. I have not decided specifically which ones to use yet. Citation: (Koran Sura, Versse) Nate Rawlings, “Opium Production in Afghanistan Hits Record High,” Time, November 13th, 2013 -in 2000, the country accounted for roughly 70 percent of the world’s heroin supply -in 2001, the Taliban banned poppy, citing Islamic prohibition against drugs, and wiped out 99 percent of the country’s production of the crop Rashid, Ahmed, “Taliban: Militant, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, Second Edition,” Yale University Press, April 13th, 2010 **List of rules/edicts declared by Taliban in 1996… too long to copy here Refer to this link: http://www.amazon.com/reader/0300163681?_encoding=UTF8&page=28
Statelessness: An Overview of a Destructive and Preventable Issue
Ramah Ali G block Global Issues 5/13/14 My day started like any other. The crowing roosters beat my phone alarm by a few minutes as I groggily woke up. My shower was once again exceptionally cold, since we didn't have a water heater in the flat. I took my work clothes off the wire rack again, where I had hung them out to dry the night before. After ironing out my outfit and putting my badge on, I looked quickly in the pantry to find something to eat before remembering that it was still the middle of Ramadan, and I had a few weeks to go before I could merrily eat and drink at all hours again. With a sigh, I started out for the United Nations office a half mile away. I greeted the security officers in my limited French and they let me into the compound for another day of work. Today would be another openconference room day for Liberian refugees to receive their residence cards. These were people who had undergone a long process of transitioning from their refugee status to productive members of their newly adopted home in Guinea. Many of the refugees directly experienced the brutal conflict of civil war, and were now angry at the bureaucratic inefficiencies that plague all big organizations, even the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. And on top of that, a fair number of refugees were fasting just like I was. When Ruth Myers walked in, everyone reacted. This woman commanded attention w Begs for more information here about who she is. Caroline, a Liberian woman who was volunteering as a refugee liaison to
the UN and helping me out with my duties, simultaneously rolled her eyes and laughed when Ms. Myers walked in. She looked like the blind woman from The Princess and the Frog, except somehow more ridiculously dressed. The colors on her robes were garish even by Guinean standards. “Can I please have your refugee card, ma'am?” I asked her. “Young man, why do you need my refugee card? I shouldn't have to give you anything! I can tell you all the information you need to hear,” she replied in the most indignant of tones. I looked at Caroline, who simply laughed in response. Caroline really wasn't helping me out at this moment, so I was left to deal with this force of nature on my own as the other refugees sitting on the side of the room watched with amusement. “Miss, can I just please have your refugee card? It makes it much easier for me to write your information down that way.” The way her face looked after I said this was not reassuring. “You want me to make things easier for you? I am a refugee! I survived the Liberian Civil War! You want to know where I'm originally from? You won't ever guess, I promise you.” At this point, I noticed her accent was quite different from the other Liberians I had talked to, and I was curious to know where she really was from. “Baltimore, Maryland, born and raised! That's right, you didn't expect that, did you? I renounced my US citizenship and moved to Liberia of my own free will after marrying my husband, and now here I am dealing with some kid who needs me to make his life easier!” Apparently I looked very uncomfortable after that last little bit because she quickly moved to reassure me. “Hey kid, you know I'm just teasing, right? I got nothing against you! I've just got a lot of issues with the UN people right now.” I had no idea how to react to this. Here was a woman who essentially had no papers declaring where she was from. She clearly needed the UNHCR's help more than most, because without a residence card she would remain stateless.
A moment of levity in the UNHCR Conakry office
Not to be confused with refugees, stateless people are people who are not considered a national of any country in the world. Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that “everyone has the right to a nationality”. With these words, the international community recognized that every individual, everywhere in the world, should hold a legal bond of nationality with a state. But despite this firm international commitment, new cases of statelessness have continued to arise. There are at least 10 million stateless people around the world today. In practice many stateless persons are left without legal residence, consular protection, or the right to return to their country of origin. No government takes responsibility for their protection. For those who have fallen through the cracks in this way, the consequences are serious, according to Jana Mason, Senior Advisor for External Relations and Government Affairs at the Washington, DC office of
the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She stresses that Congress needs to do more in order to advance the rights of stateless populations in the United States, and works in order to negotiate with both the Senate and the House in pursuit of aÂ resolution.
Just 37 States that have ratified both the 1954 Convention and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. The 1954 Convention aims to regulate the status of stateless persons and to ensure the widest possible enjoyment of their human rights, and is complemented by the relevant provisions of international human rights treaties. It crucially defines what statelessness is, a key aspect of the convention that states still refer to in the absence of reliable data on the issue. Meanwhile, the 1961 Conventionâ€™s purpose is to prevent statelessness, thereby reducing it over time. The 1961 Convention is the only universal instrument that elaborates clear, detailed and concrete safeguards to ensure a fair and appropriate response to the threat of statelessness. Accession to the 1961 Convention equips states to avoid and resolve nationality-related disputes and mobilize international support to adequately deal with the prevention and reduction of statelessness.
The agency in charge of preventing statelessness, among other problems, throughout the world
Although the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) confirms that everyone has a right to a nationality, it does not set out a specific nationality to which a person is entitled. Responsibility for conferring nationality lies with individual states. Against this background, the 1961 Convention sets out additional standards that States have agreed to ensure further international cooperation and agreement to prevent and reduce statelessness. The wording of the UDHR ensures that rather than entitling everyone to having a nationality, existence as a stateless person merely creates a large loophole through which multiple articles of the UDHR are violated.
Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, has stated that, â€œThe issue of statelessness has been left to fester in the shadows for far too long. It is time to take the necessary steps to rid the world of a bureaucratic malaise that is, in reality, not so difficult to resolve. It is simply a question of political will and legislative energy.â€? The fundamental issue with statelessness is that no nation has any real obligation to a person who is not one of its citizens. This is why many countries do not even find it worth their while to ratify the UN conventions on statelessness, preferring instead to let others handle the issue. Commissioner Guterres has shown an acute awareness to this sentiment, declaring that, â€œMany States already have legislation that is compliant with the provisions of the Convention and implementing it costs very little. Yet few States are parties to this instrument. We need to change that. I
pledge the full support of my Office to governments wishing to become parties.”
The largest concentrations of statelessness in the world.
Around the world, many state courts have worked to redefine and analyze the impact of statelessness in their own countries. In the United States, the landmark Supreme Court case Trop v. Dulles cited the Eighth Amendment in ruling that it was unconstitutional for the government to revoke the citizenship of a citizen as punishment, making reference to evolving standards of decency in its interpretation of “cruel and unusual punishment”. Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote in the decision that "denationalization as a punishment is barred by the Eighth Amendment" as this is "the total destruction of the individual's status in organized society." In the dissent, Justice Felix Frankfurter pointed out that the court had effectively declared that “loss of citizenship is worse than death.” This is indeed the feeling that many stateless are consigned to. Altagracia Jose, a woman made stateless by the Dominican Republic's controversial new court decision, states that, "I cried when they told me I was not Dominican. I cannot choose another country. I've never been to Haiti – I am no more Haitian than I am Puerto Rican or American. If I am stateless, I am nobody."
The ruling passed down by the Dominican Republic is a key one in determining the power nations have to render its citizens stateless. The 112 decision of the constitutional court, dated September 23, found that the provision on citizenship in the 1929 Dominican constitution, which recognizes as a citizen anyone born in the country, should not apply to the children of parents who were not “legal residents” at the time of their birth, on the basis that their parents were “in transit”.The order effectively strips citizenship rights from the descendants of Haitian migrants settled in the Dominican Republic since the start of the 20th century, despite the fact that the current constitution declares as Dominican anyone who enjoyed Dominican citizenship prior to 2010. The vast majority of these individuals will be left stateless. In essence, the Dominican Republic is exploiting a way to try and reverse its illegal Haitian immigration problem by removing those whose parents and grandparents immigrated there through completely legal channels. If left unchecked, this establishes a dangerous legal and international precedent in which supreme courts can retroactively alter the wording of national constitutions in order to exclude more citizens from enjoying citizenship.
The problem in the Dominican Republic may have been exacerbated by the court's decision
Statelessness has also been used as a threat against suspected terrorist activities. The AlJedda case in the UK is an example of governments protecting the 1954 and 1961 UN Convention agreements. Hilal AlJedda, originally Iraqi, became a naturalised British citizen, but the Home Secretary wanted to take away
his British citizenship because of alleged terrorist activities. Under British law, the court ruled that he cannot be deprived of that citizenship if that would make him stateless. The Court of Appeal decided that AlJedda had already lost his Iraqi citizenship and that this meant he could not have his British citizenship taken away. UNHCR and the Open Justice Society Initiative urged the court to rule in favor of AlJedda, recognizing that this case would be pivotal in setting an example to the rest of the world. In a unanimous judgment given by Lord Wilson, the Supreme Court accepted the case put by AlJedda and the Justice Initiative. The court pointed out the vast numbers worldwide that are affected by statelessness, noting that “worldwide legal disabilities with terrible practical consequence still flow from lack of nationality”. They held that it would leave the law ‘mired in deeper complexity’ if states could rely on possible future acquisition of nationality to defeat claims to statelessness status. As outlined by Commissioner Guterres, the path to a viable solution for the world's stateless is by no means an impossible proposition, requiring only a declaration of political will and minimal resources to alleviate the current problem and prevent future occurrences of statelessness. The European Network on Statelessness has identified 5 key areas in order to tackle this international challenge. These are fulfilling international obligations, raising visibility of the issue, solidifying identification procedure, granting protection status to current stateless populations, and eventually implementing a durable solution by granting citizenship. To the first point, states must accede to the relevant legal instruments for dealing with this issue, most notably ratification and enforcement of the 1954 and 1961 UN Conventions, as well as supplementary international frameworks. To the second, states must address the issue of unreliable statistics by mapping the areas of concern within their own boundaries, and they must adopt a statelessness determination while making an effort to educate their masses on the issue and extent of statelessness. To the third point, “An effective and protectionoriented stateless status determination procedure should be in place which is regulated by specific legal provisions, in
order to identify stateless persons in need of protection.” Furthermore, a legal status should be created for those who are stateless, and deportation measures should be suspended where possible. To the fourth, stateless persons should be able to enjoy a protected, welldefined, and clearly regulated status on a long term basis in order to have a chance at becoming productive members of a society and living dignified lives. And to the last point, stateless persons should eventually be granted a path to citizenship in the countries they live in, provided that they are allowed effective judicial review of their status and exemption from proof of loss of any prior citizenship. The issue of statelessness is one that is easily solved. In Guinea, many of the refugees who fall under temporary statelessness are granted residence under the UNHCRGuinean government partnership. This model should be extended to the 12 million who for one reason or another lack the papers that allow them to be free members of modern civilization. People like Ruth Myers, who might have lost their papers due to the stresses of war, should not be forced to prove or demonstrate how they lost their prior citizenship. And rulings such as the one handed down by the Dominican Republic pose a danger to the existing stateless population and causes new ones to suffer the same fate. Instead of following the Dominican Republic model, states should aspire to follow the model of the UK, which has so far demonstrated admirable levels of compliance with the UNHCR's initiatives. By traveling to Guinea and interacting with people like Ruth Myers, the issue of statelessness has been humanized to a large extent for me. It is absolutely inconceivable that anyone would stand for denial of health care, military protection, and a host of other basic human rights simply for missing documents brought upon by circumstance. Bringing visibility to this otherwise invisible issue is now the single biggest hurdle between 12 million people and freedom.
Bibliography Blitz, Brad K., and Caroline Sawyer. 2011. “Analysis: The Practical and Legal Realities of Statelessness in the European Union.” In Statelessness in the European Union: Displaced, Undocumented, Unwanted, edited by Caroline Sawyer and Brad K. Blitz. London: Cambridge University Press. 281-305. A discussion of the unique legal and social challenges faced by stateless people caught within EU member states. “Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons.” UNHCR. Last modified 1954. http://www.unhcr.org/3bbb0abc7.html. A comprehensive list of UN member states’ compliance with the 1954 Convention to the rights of the stateless. Cox, Simon. “Case Watch: UK Supreme Court Delivers Victory against Statelessness in AlJedda Case.” Open Society Foundations. Last modified October 8, 2013. http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/voices/case-watch-uk-supreme-court-delivers-victory-against -statelessness-al-jedda-case. In this landmark case, the UK Supreme Court directly addressed the deprivation of citizenship as punishment, citing that under British law, one cannot be deprived of that citizenship if that would make him stateless. “Dominican Republic Court Ruling Raises Mass Statelessness Threat.” Open Justice Society Initiative. Last modified October 2, 2013. http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/press-releases/dominican-republic-court-ruling-raises-mass-st atelessness-threat. The 112 decision of the constitutional court, dated September 23, found that the provision on citizenship in the 1929 Dominican constitution, which recognizes as a citizen anyone born in the country, should not apply to the children of parents who were not “legal residents” at the time of their birth, on the basis that their parents were “in transit”.The order effectively strips citizenship rights from the descendants of Haitian migrants settled in the Dominican Republic since the start of the 20th century, despite the fact that the current constitution declares as Dominican anyone who enjoyed Dominican citizenship prior to 2010. The vast majority of these individuals will be left stateless. If left unchecked, this establishes a dangerous legal and international precedent in which supreme courts can retroactively alter the wording of national constitutions in order to exclude more citizens from enjoying citizenship. “Effective Protection of Stateless Persons in Five Steps.” European Network on Statelessness. Last modified 2012. http://www.statelessness.eu/sites/www.statelessness.eu/files/attachments/resources/ENS%20kick-off %20seminar%202012%20-%205%20steps%20to%20protection%20of%20stateless%20persons.pd f. This document by the European Network on Statelessness cites 5 “strategic steps and recommendations based on the 1954 Statelessness Convention and other international legal instruments, soft law, and best practices”.
Kohn, Sebastian. 2012. “Statelessness in Sweden – Changes Ahead?” European Network on Statelessness, 12 September. Accessed 5 May 2014. www.statelessness.eu/blog/statelessness-sweden-changes-ahead. This article emphasizes the extent of how troubling the lack of international legal action remains in dealing with the issue of statelessness. Despite being a leader in human rights and being one out of just 4 countries to pledge to address statelessness through foreign policy, Sweden has done remarkably little in the international arena to solve this problem an alarmingly common problem among perceived leaders in combating this issue. “LHR Makes Statelessness Submission before Parliament.” News release. 2012. http://www.lhr.org.za/news/2012/press-statement-lhr-makes-statelessness-submissions-parliament. Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) briefed the South African Parliament’s portfolio committee on home affairs on the escalating number of stateless people in South Africa, reiterating many of the legal implementation problems that third world countries face in attempting to protect their stateless. Refugee Protection Act of 2013, S. 645, 113th Cong. (2013). The Refugee Protection Act of 2013 proposes a pathway for stateless people held in the US in legal limbo to attain citizenship in its list of reforms. Good primary document Reyes, Rachel. “The Stateless in the United States.” Center for Migration Studies. Last modified May 28, 2013. http://cmsny.org/thestatelessintheunitedstates/. The US lacks a consistent legal framework for dealing with stateless individuals, leaving many in protracted deportation proceedings and exposing many more to exploitation by employers, landlords, and law enforcement officials. “Stateless People.” UNHCR. Accessed May 5, 2014. http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49c3646c155.html. An overview of the definition of statelessness and the UNHCR’s role in preventing it. Trop v. Dulles, 356 U.S. 86, 102 (1958). In this landmark decision the Supreme Court struck down a law authorizing the deprivation of citizenship as punishment for conviction by court martial of wartime desertion. The court’s description establishes a precedent for avoiding the use of statelessness in any punishment, describing such an act as constituting “the total destruction of the individual’s status in organized society”. UNHCR. 2011. Helping the World’s Stateless People. Geneva, Switzerland: UNHCR. http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/refworld/rwmain?page=search&docid=4e55e7dd2&skip=0&q uery=%22legal%20ghosts%22. An overview of possible solutions for governments to consider in fighting the growing issue of statelessness. UNHCR. Last modified 1961. http://www.unhcr.org/3bbb24d54.html. States parties to the 1961 convention on the reduction of statelessness.
United Nations UNHCR. Citizens of Nowhere: Solutions for the Stateless in the US. By David Baluarte. N.p.: n.p., 2012. This report focuses primarily on the especially vulnerable population of stateless individuals residing in the United States who have no path to acquire lawful status or become naturalized U.S. citizens under the current law. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 1948. Accessed 4 May 2014. http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml#a15. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is valuable in looking at the rights that stateless people are denied and ought to be able to enjoy fully. Image Credit my own image http://eudo-citizenship.eu/docs/images/UNHCR.jpg http://www.csmonitor.com/var/archive/storage/images/media/world-s-greatest-populations-of-stateless -persons/8258536-1-eng-US/World-s-greatest-populations-of-stateless-persons_full_600.jpg 4. http://cronkite.asu.edu/buffett/dr/images/index/13stateless.jpg 1. 2. 3.
The Interface Between Women and Programming
Jocelyn Cheng May 9, 2014
Abstract Over the last four years, Women's Studies has been a reoccurring theme for me. It began in the ninth grade when I wrote my fourteen page I-Search paper on the balance of work life and family life for women. I was interested in the topic because I knew it would be a dilemma I would face in the future, and I wanted to be prepared. This exact same curiosity also sparked my interest in the culture of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), specifically computer science. I examined environmental factors affecting female interest in STEM, recent efforts made by schools to attract more women, reports on the topic, and the personal experiences of women in computer science. From my research I realized the issue is more complicated than I expected, and there is no one simple solution to the problem. However, I am hopeful for the future. Today, the younger generation is being introduced to technology both in and out of the classroom. Encouraging and inspiring the next generation will yield even greater advances in global citizenship, medicine, platforms for social media, and more. This fall I will take my first computer science course in college. Thanks to my research, I will have the knowledge and advice of other women to guide me, and I will not let any preconceived notions deter me. I have seen the positive efforts being made by individuals across the country, and I am optimistic that slowly things are changing for the better.
My mother pulls up to the curb. I see the familiar green awnings of Starbucks and the constant in and out of adults with their hot coffees in tow. I hop out of the car, and walk into the coffee shop. I scan the room looking for a woman, and I find her. We sit down at a tall, cramped table where the chairs are way too high for anyone to sit gracefully. She begins to ask questions about my academics and extracurriculars like any other college interview. I have practiced with my parents and in the mirror many times; I am prepared for anything. She inquires about my favorite subject in school, but with a look of disinterest on her face as if she has asked too many times to even care anymore. I disregard her apparent boredom and respond, “Math,” as if it is a reflex. I see her face perk up with intrigue. I am always greeted with such a response, so that I almost expected by now. People’s eyes widen ever so slightly, and I can detect an air of self-consciousness because they immediately try to conceal their shock. Trying not to miss a beat they ask, “Why math?” I respond, “Because each problem has an absolute answer, and you are either right or wrong. There is no gray area, but there is still a challenge to each problem that keeps me on my toes.” Their faces remain impassive, but their eyes read fascination. In this busy Starbucks I continue to focus on her face. I can read the interest and skepticism in her eyes. She remarks, “In all my years and of all the girls I have interviewed, none
have wanted to study mathematics in college.â€? I am in turn startled, but maybe I should not be. I realize math is a less popular subject for girls to pursue, but for the majority of my life I never believed this to be the case despite evidence to the contrary. For example, this year in my BC Calculus class only four of the nineteen students are girls. Even confronted with such facts I never considered myself to be a statistic, to be fighting against any cultural oppression, or to be doing anything out of the ordinary. I grew up following my passion for math, and I plan to continue doing so in college and beyond. I cannot imagine myself in any career where I cannot use mathematics. I know my experience is quite atypical, and I wonder how and where along my academic career did I differ from others. I also wonder what cultural stereotypes feed into the psyche of young girls and discourages them from studying STEM. Also, why are only 20% of engineers or computer programmers female in an arguably equitable and progressive society like our own? As I fast approach college, I have considered majoring in computer science because of its growing relevance to everyday life. I grew up in an era where so many are glued to their electronic devices, there is an app for anything, and any question can be answered using Google. Our society is dependent upon technology like oxygen, and none of the technological luxuries we enjoy today would exist without computer science. However, studies shows that interest in the field has been on the decline in the United States, and that in the near future there will be a shortage of qualified programmers. One estimate suggests the U.S. economy is producing 1.4 million programming jobs, but less than half a million students are graduating college with a degree in computer science.1 Furthermore, on average only 10% of all computer science graduates are women.2 Without tapping into one of the most under utilized resources, women, the field of programming and the economy will suffer. To counter such an outcome, new efforts have been made by schools, universities, and organizations that specifically target women of all ages. The quality, aim, and content of the courses offered in schools today are a major contributing factor to girlsâ€™ interest in STEM. My own school, Head-Royce School (HRS), a private K-12 school in California, has begun to revamp and integrate more technology into its classrooms. Since the current HRS 1
Mike Cassidy, "Women Missing out on Lucrative Careers in Computer Science," Silicon Valley, last modified February 25, 2014, accessed March 7, 2014, http://www.siliconvalley.com/mike-cassidy/ci_25224467/womenmissing-out-lucrative-careers-computer-science. 2 "Science,Technology and Innovation MetaData: Women in Science," UNESCO, accessed March 20, 2014, http://data.uis.unesco.org/index.aspx?queryid=118&export. 3
seniors participated in their lower school computer classes - almost twelve years ago - advances in technology have taken off exponentially. When we were in kindergarten. iPods were only just slowly becoming popular and BlackBerry smart phones were exclusively used by executives. Back then computer classes focused solely on the front-end, computer user experience with typing practice and math or strategy games. These two activities remain as key fixtures in current classes, but there is a greater push to introduce and expose children to the real world applications of the skills and technology they are being taught. I visited one of the second grade tech class taught by Tatyana Koziupa, Head-Royce’s tech integrationist, where the students are working on lego robotics. In class, students build lego creations that can perform simple tasks. For example, one bot was a motion sensor alligator that chomped on anything placed in front of it’s mouth. The students work in tandem with a computer program called We-Do, which guides them in the building process. The We-Do app also has a feature where students can design and build their own robot. They simply construct a set of qualities and functions and the program churns out instructions for the student. Many of the children were extremely enthusiastic about the exercise, and Koziupa hopes that by introducing technology and computer science in a “fun and nonthreatening” way it can garner greater, positive responses. and fuel future interest and pursuit.3
Tatyana Koziupa, interview by the author, Oakland, CA, April 23, 2014. 4
Examples of the robots Koziupa’s second grade classes are building with the We-Do app. https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-uR8BZN5hAMs/TXAtKYmyRXI/AAAAAAAAV9k/MA8Kzu0Vlt0/s1600/LEGO+5+2.jpg
Koziupa’s role as tech integrationist at HRS is to introduce students to computer science and the use of computer programs in all subjects. In her technology classes, Koziupa presents her students with the “foundational basis” of computer science by introducing the basic logic behind programming languages. She is also developing and building off the current curriculum to streamline the technology exposure and skills learned throughout the grade levels. The program is in the beginning stages of a larger technology integration restructuring, so the long-term impact of the project is not measurable or quantifiable now. However, there is a strong correlation between exposure and interest. Every student has access to and is utilizing the numerous tech resources available to them, such as off hours computer lab time, elective based engineering or programming courses, and summer school coding classes; all of these opportunities help foster an interest in students at a young age. To be fair, a private institution in the Bay Area is not an accurate representation of school efforts across the country. However, many organizations have recognized the greater need for code-savvy individuals such as Girls who Code, Girls Teaching Girls to Code, and Girl Develop It. The sole purpose of these efforts, as Koziupa put it, is to help students “understand the logic behind computers, but also help them become problem solvers and flexible thinkers. The world that they are entering is not going to be stable and .... they are going to be changing careers. Even if they are not coding, they are going to need to know the language of coding.”4 Finding such passionate, patient, and encouraging 4
Koziupa, interview by the author. 5
teachers is essential to the success of students in any discipline and important in retaining more girls in the sciences. The weight of a teacher’s words, whether inspiring or discouraging, is large. I recently spoke to Rohini Sankaran, a Stanford graduate who is working towards her PhD at the University of California, Berkeley in Materials Science and Engineering. She whole heartedly believes she is “not good” at math, which may stem from how poorly some teachers treated her in school. In one incident, she was struggling with a particular topic in her pre-calculus class, parametric equations. She had spent hours studying, rewriting notes, and redoing all the practice problems, but still performed poorly on the exam. She approached her teacher for advice, but Ms. Finley simply said, “Sometimes [you] just reach a limit of your understanding of a subject and it happened to me and maybe this is your limit.”5 Such behavior by a teacher is only detrimental as it causes individuals to internalize a mentality of defeat and disinterest. Not only is the influence of teachers and parents important, but also the pressures of society and peers. Stereotypes limit an individual’s potential when they are allowed to define oneself. Some people, for example, believe that men excel more in the sciences than women. Such assumptions steer women away from occupations they believe are “inappropriate for their gender.”6 It even encourages girls to undervalue their own abilities in such subjects even with equal or better test performance compared to boys. However, Carol Dweck, a social and developmental psychologist at Stanford University, found that having a “growth mindset” counters such stereotypes. When an individual believes his or her intelligence is not limited and not determined by setbacks, gender has no impact on student performance. Furthermore, students excel more when positive stereotypes are reinforced prior to testing according to Dweck.7 Such evidence can be too optimistic as overcoming criticism is not easier with a growth mindset. However, having a fixed mindset, the opposite to a growth mindset, could explain the underperformance of American students in science and math.
Rohini Sankaran, interview by the author, Oakland, CA, April 16, 2014. Catherine Hill, Christianne Corbett, and Andresse St. Rose, "Why so Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics," American Association of University Women (AAUW), last modified February 2010, accessed February 23, 2014, http://www.aauw.org/files/2013/02/Why-So-Few-Women-in-ScienceTechnology-Engineering-and-Mathematics.pdf. 7 Hill, Corbett, and St. Rose, "Why so Few? Women," American Association of University Women (AAUW). 6
The United States has recently fallen behind on a number of educational metrics such as student performance on international examinations. Every year, the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) is administered to fifteen year olds from around the globe. In 2012, the United States scored below average in all three sections - mathematics, reading, and science. On the other hand, Shanghai, one of China’s top performing cities, placed first in all three categories.8
Students in the major metropolis scored on average 132
students in the United States, and 83 points higher
in the science portion. The Organization for Economic
(OECD), which administers PISA found a strong
in contained situations; however, the children of manual laborers in China outperformed
kids of professionals in the U.S. by a margin.9 The data is more than a measure of ability, but also an indicator of declining interest in
subjects such as computer science for American
students. In recent years, enrollment in computer science has been on a downward trend in the United States. The percentage students
Joe Weisenthal, "Here's The New Ranking Of Top Countries In Reading, Science, And Math,” Business Insider. Last modified December 3, 2013. Accessed February 23, 2014. http://www.businessinsider.com/pisa-rankings-201312. 9 "Do Parent's Occupation Have an Impact on Student Performance?," Organsiation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), last modified February 2014, accessed February 23, 2014, http://www.oecd.org/pisa/pisaproducts/pisainfocus/PISA-in-Focus-N36-(eng)-FINAL.pdf. 7
to 19% today.10 Furthermore, of the few high
science has decreased from 25% in the 1990â€™s
schools that do offer the course, it does
from enrolling in the course. Girls are also greatly underrepresented as they only account for a fifth of the AP computer science test takers.12 In Head-Royce School, females constitute less than a third of the computer scienceâ€™s class roster on average. In some years females consist of about half the class, and in years like 2010 no females were enrolled at all.13 The data from the last five years also suggests that girls at HRS typically score lower than their male counterparts on the AP exam. For example, in 2011, the year with the greatest score variance, the average female score was a 2.25 out of 5, but the average male score was two whole points higher with a 4.28. AP scores and grades are sometimes signs of achievement and aptitude for students, and receiving such low scores may dissuade girls from continuing to pursue the topic. Research also shows that males are more inclined to major in CS than females. One figure suggests that 74% of high school age boys believed that computer science would be a suitable major in college, but only a third of females said the same.14 In reality, however, fewer than 20% of women graduate college with a computer science degree, which begs the question: What about college deters women from pursuing programming?
"CS Education Statistics," Exploring Computer Science, accessed March 11, 2014, http://www.exploringcs.org/resources/cs-statistics. 11 Keith Wagstaff, "Can We Fix Computer Science Education in America?," Time, last modified July 16, 2012, accessed March 11, 2014, http://techland.time.com/2012/07/16/can-we-fix-computer-science-education-in-america/. 12 "CS Education Statistics," Exploring Computer Science. 13 Steve Gregg, e-mail interview by the author, Oakland, CA, March 6, 2014. 14 Hill, Corbett, and St. Rose, "Why so Few? Women," American Association of University Women (AAUW). 8
Some argue that negative and implicit stereotypes surrounding computer science majors are contributing to declining female interest. Those who pursue a career in STEM are sometimes deemed “male in character” because determinants for success in certain occupations are defined by male performance. Also, in a study conducted by Jane Margolis and Allan Fisher, two professors at Carneige Mellon University, they found that mainly female students felt alienated and discouraged because they held uncommon views and interests on the subject than their male peers.15 Many participants in the study also associated computer science with “nerds,” and yet two-thirds of female students and a third of male students did not agree with such a description. In another study conducted by Joshua Aronson, an associate professor of developmental, social, and educational psychology at New York University, he examined cognitive gender differences and formed a theory of “disidentification.” His findings show that individuals will distance
Hill, Corbett, and St. Rose, "Why so Few? Women," American Association of University Women (AAUW). 9
themselves from something due to a negative stereotype. For example, girls may seem disinterested in mathematics because stereotypically boys are seen as more suited for the subject. Aronson’s theory of disidentification is a possible explanation for the low number of women electing to take computer science in college. Computer science majors have seen great waves of female interest in the last fifty years. In 1966, only 15% of college women held a bachelor’s degree in the field, and the number promisingly increased to 36% twenty years later16; however, in the following decades the number has dramatically declined back to 18% as of 2013.17 Historically, the percentage of women enrolled in computer science has been on a cyclical trend, but with enrollment figures declining it begs the question whether such numbers will be on the rise once again in the near future. As colleges are increasingly recognizing the barriers to success for women - such as
Hill, Corbett, and St. Rose, "Why so Few? Women," American Association of University Women (AAUW). Ali Partovi and Hadi Partovi, "How Code.org Is Extending Computer Science beyond ‘the Lucky Few’," Venture Beat, last modified November 9, 2013, accessed March 16, 2014, http://venturebeat.com/2013/11/09/how-code-orgis-extending-computer-science-beyond-the-lucky-few/. 17
stereotypes –- fixed mindsets and negative stereotypes--many institutions are making great efforts to change. Some of the top universities in America have begun to revamp their CS curriculum to alleviate the deficit of female computer science students. Colleges such as UC Berkeley, Stanford, and Harvey Mudd are restructuring current course offerings and designing new introductory courses, which focus on the greater, more attractive applications of programming. Harvey Mudd’s President, Maria Klawe, said, “The difference is, females in general are much more interested in what you can do with the technology, than with just the technology itself.”18 So, the university is offering introductory courses where no computer science experience is required, presenting more research opportunities to female students, and encouraging more women to attend conferences where they can meet role models in the field. Harvey Mudd began its initiative seven years ago and has increased female enrollment from 10% to an astounding 43%.19 Stanford and Berkeley have reported some smaller improvements; for both universities female participation has increased from 12% to 21% in the last five years.20 Many universities and professionals are attempting to innovate and equalize the computer science field by utilizing the power of women as a valuable resource. They hope to sustain the U.S. economy in this new era of technology; however, at the moment, the United States seems to still be falling behind its international counterparts. China is beginning to surpass the U.S. in educating and preparing a larger number of its students for the future demands of society and technology. For several decades, Eastern Asia has transitioned from developing nations to industrialized powerhouses. As nations like Japan and China lead the way in creating new technology, both countries are rigorously preparing its future generation by heavily emphasizing the sciences in their studies. In 2008, almost a third of all bachelor degrees awarded in China were for engineering; while in the United States the percentage was a meager 4%.21 The brand name of American universities has also attracted the attention of many international students, especially students from China. Throughout the 1990s 18
Mike Cassidy, "Can Early Computer Science Education Boost Number of Women in Tech?," San Jose Mercury News, last modified February 22, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.mercurynews.com/mikecassidy/ci_25201424/can-early-computer-science-education-boost-number-women#top. 19 Cassidy, "Can Early Computer Science," San Jose Mercury News. 20 Kristen V. Brown, "Tech Shift: More Women in Computer Science Classes," SF Gate, last modified February 18, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.sfgate.com/education/article/Tech-shift-More-women-in-computerscience-classes-5243026.php#photo-5899823. 21 "Higher Education in Science and Engineering," National Science Foundation, accessed February 22, 2014, http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind12/c2/c2h.htm. 11
and 2000s, students from China earned a quarter of all the United States’ doctorate degrees in science and engineering.22 Also, in 2009 China had 30 million students enrolled in higher education while America had only half of that.23 To be fair, there is greater education equality in the United States than in China. For example, a greater percentage of American students, about 70-89%, are pursuing a degree in higher education, whereas only 10-29% of young people in China are doing the same.24 With the United States staggering behind in international test cores, one may point to educational barriers as the main culprit, but the office environment is another strong candidate. According to Margolis and Fisher, many women are dissatisfied with the work culture of computer programming.25 For example, Chrystal Henke, a computer programmer manager at Arcadis, feels that computer science can sometimes be a “boys club.”26 Henke is reaching out and mentoring young women interested in the field, which she hopes will positively alter the work atmosphere. According to a report by Cathy Trower, research director of Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) at Harvard University, she found that the lack of mentors for women limits the advice required for “navigating the workplace ... and advancing in their careers.”27 Another study suggests that females report lower job satisfaction in STEM careers because of “feelings of isolation, an unsupportive work environment, extreme work schedules, and unclear rules about advancement and success.”28 Contrary to such accounts, some reports on work culture claim that many barriers to achievement for women no longer exist.
"Chapter 2: Higher Education in Science and Engineering," National Science Foundation, last modified July 6, 2012, accessed March 16, 2014, http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind12/pdf/c02.pdf. 23 Cheng, Surpassing Shanghai, 27. 24 Dan Smith, The Penguin State of the World Atlas, ninth ed. (New York City, NY: Penguin Group, 2012), 31. 25 Hill, Corbett, and St. Rose, "Why so Few? Women," American Association of University Women (AAUW). 26 Chrystal Henke, telephone interview by the author, Oakland, CA, April 12, 2014. 27 Hill, Corbett, and St. Rose, "Why so Few? Women," American Association of University Women (AAUW). 28 Hill, Corbett, and St. Rose, "Why so Few? Women," American Association of University Women (AAUW). 12
Stephen Ceci and Wendy Williams, two professors at Cornell University, found that women are not inhibited by sex discrimination, but rather a lack of resources in the workplace. Ceci and Williams discovered with all things equal - employer, institution, discipline, and experience - men and women performed equally well. Surprisingly, it was also noted that a woman with a PhD was more likely than a man of equal qualifications to be interviewed and offered a tenure-track position at a university. However, women were also less likely to remain in such occupations due to attempts to balance their family and work life.29 Many positive and negative factors are discouraging women from this highly lucrative field, and may account for some of the gender pay gap. One of the highest paying jobs for a woman in 2012 was a computer and information systems manager, who makes on average
Stephen J. Ceci and Wendy M. Williams, "Understanding Current Causes of Women's Underrepresentation in Science," National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), last modified February 22, 2011, accessed February 23, 2014, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3044353/. 13
$80,000 a year, but only a quarter of managers are female.30 Recently, President Obama is making attempts to narrow the wage gap with his Paycheck Fairness Act, which will place tighter regulations on companies to ensure equal pay for equal work.31 Hopefully, with the redesigned educational curriculum, altered mentalities, and increased mentorship the culture of computer science will become a more egalitarian and conducive environment. When I began my research, I was discouraged by the statistics and unappealing descriptions of the “frat boy” culture. Yet, the data and information seemed so far removed that it was unreal. It was hard for me to understand the true depth of the issues present in the workforce. When I spoke to other women in STEM, there was a consensus that some things needed to change. To be honest, for some time this information left me disheartened. It even caused me to more recently re-evaluate my decision to major in computer science. At the same time, I have also been inspired by the deep, rewarding work of the people in programming. When I visited Henke at her office, we reviewed the artist renderings for a new app her company is creating, discussed the possible framework of the coding, and examined the intricacies involved in creating the final product. I realized for myself there is more to programming than the lone individual typing away at the keyboard. The field is much more dynamic and collaborative than I had previously thought. Through the process I also came to more greatly appreciate technology and computer science. For someone who grew up in an era of technology it is easy to take for granted the power of a computer, but I realize computers only do what they are told and are only as smart as the person who programmed it. I have also learned to appreciate the product of computer science first. Universities like Cal, Stanford, Harvey Mudd and others are offering more access points for students to approach the material and are trying to hook students on the product before the process, which I can attest has its merits. I am still unsure if programming is in my long term plans, but I will pursue it in college because I am optimistic about the future of computer science. All the efforts being made by schools, big universities, and individuals in the field inspires hope. Hope that the climate of computer science will expand and change from a male dominated, “nerdy” one of the past to a more progressive and positive one.
Cassidy, "Women Missing out on Lucrative," Silicon Valley. Aamer Madhani, "Obama to Take Executive Action on Equal Pay Rules," USA Today, last modified April 7, 2014, accessed May 5, 2014, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/04/07/obama-equal-pay-executiveaction/7423401/. 31
Bibliography "Achieve Universal Primary Education." United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Accessed March 15, 2014. http://www.us.undp.org/content/china/en/home/mdgoverview/overview/mdg2/. The article discusses the steps China has taken in the last 10 years to provide free compulsory primary education, which is still a struggle in rural parts of China. This article was a related link from another UNDP article. American College Testing. "2013 ACT National and State Scores." ACT.org. Accessed March 10, 2014. https://www.act.org/newsroom/data/2013/states.html. The website provides a breakdown of how well students in all 50 states did on the ACT for 2013. This website was more helpful than the College Board's information on the SAT score breakdown because the ACT is only taken in the United States. I found the site through google. Brown, Kristen V. "Tech Shift: More Women in Computer Science Classes." SF Gate. Last modified February 18, 2014. Accessed March 9, 2014. http://www.sfgate.com/education/article/Tech-shift-More-womenin-computer-science-classes-5243026.php#photo-5899823. This article describes how colleges in the Bay Area such as Cal and Stanford are attempting to revamp CS courses to attract more women. It also provides statistics on the increases in CS enrollment for both universities. Ms. Goglio forwarded me the article. "California Educational Attainment of the Population 25 Years and Over: 1940 to 2000." United States Census Bureau. Accessed March 13, 2014. http://www.census.gov/hhes/socdemo/education/data/census/halfcentury/files/CA.pdf. Provides educational attainment statistics for the last 70 years specific to California. It was a related link from another US Census on national educational attainment. Cassidy, Mike. "Can Early Computer Science Education Boost Number of Women in Tech?" San Jose Mercury News. Last modified February 22, 2014. Accessed March 9, 2014. http://www.mercurynews.com/mike-cassidy/ci_25201424/can-early-computer-science-educationboost-number-women#top. The article describes college trends of female enrollment in a computer science major. It also further describes how successful initiatives by Harvey Mudd College have been in increasing female enrollment. I found the article while searching through Inside Bay Area's website. Cassidy, Mike. "Women Missing out on Lucrative Careers in Computer Science." Silicon Valley. Last modified February 25, 2014. Accessed March 7, 2014. http://www.siliconvalley.com/mikecassidy/ci_25224467/women-missing-out-lucrative-careers-computer-science. The article provided information about the top median salaries for women in 2012, which included four CS jobs. The article endorsed the idea that more women in CS would be both lucrative and beneficial to society. I found the article through Ms. Goglio, who suggested I look at a few Oakland Tribune articles about women in programming. Ceci, Stephen J., and Wendy M. Williams. "Understanding Current Causes of Women's Underrepresentation in Science." National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Last modified February 22, 2011. Accessed February 23, 2014. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3044353/. This source claims that women are not inhibited in STEM fields by sexism, but rather a lack of resources and a personal preference for part-time employment. The article included evidence that women applying for tenure-track jobs were more likely to be interviewed and hired than men; however, women with children tend to avoid such jobs. Irene forwarded me the link to this report from one of her other classes.
Central Intelligence Agency. "China." The World Factbook. Accessed March 2, 2014. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ch.html. I found a few statistics about China's literacy rate among young men and women. CIA World Factbook was a resource I knew about previously. Central Intelligence Agency. "The United States." The World Factbook. Accessed March 2, 2014. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html. I found statistics like education expenditures as a percentage of GDP and literacy rates among men and women. Again, CIA World Factbook was a resource I previously knew about. Cheng, Kai-ming. Surpassing Shanghai. Edited by Marc S. Tucker. N.p.: Harvard Education Press, 2011. This excerpt provides historical and cultural context surrounding China's educational system. It also provides information on the reforms China is making towards a more equitable national educational system. I found this book through Asia Rising/ Ms. McKenna. "CS Education Statistics." Exploring Computer Science. Accessed March 11, 2014. http://www.exploringcs.org/resources/cs-statistics. The website provides recent national and state AP computer science test scores among girls and boys. It also has statistics on the decrease in the number of students taking the AP Computer Science exam. I found the site through a google search. Diprete, Thomas A., and Claudia Buchmann. "The Rise of Women Table and Figuers." Russell Sage Foundation. Accessed March 16, 2014. https://www.russellsage.org/sites/all/files/diprete_figurestables.pdf. The pdf provided numerous tables and figures regarding gender differences in US education for the past 50 years. Was a related link on the Russell Sage website. "Do Parent's Occupation Have an Impact on Student Performance?" Organsiation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Last modified February 2014. Accessed February 23, 2014. http://www.oecd.org/pisa/pisaproducts/pisainfocus/PISA-in-Focus-N36-(eng)-FINAL.pdf. This article argues there is a huge correlation between parent's occupation/socio-economic status and children's test performance; however, only when examining data from one contained country and not comparing two countries. I found this article while browsing through the homepage of the OECD/PISA's website. "Elementary and Secondary Mathematics and Science Education." National Science Foundation. Accessed February 22, 2014. http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind12/c1/c1h.htm. This article provided college enrollment percentages, student performance on STEM exams (like the OECD), and average GPAs in certain subjects all based upon ethnicity and/or gender. I found the National Science Foundation website through a simple google search, but within the website there was a page of linked articles on my topic, which is where I found this article. Fan, Maureen. "Illiteracy Jumps in China, despite 50-Year Campaign to Eradicate It." The Washington Post. Last modified April 27, 2007. Accessed March 16, 2014. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2007/04/26/AR2007042602452.html. The article argues that China's reported literacy rates are highly inaccurate. Many adults living in rural parts of the country often times forget much of what they were taught in primary education. Also the compulsory nine years of education is not feasible for many as it is either too far or too expensive. Google search. Fitzpatrick, Laura. "China's One Child Policy." Time. Last modified July 27, 2009. Accessed March 19, 2014. http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1912861,00.html. 16
The article provided a brief overview of China's One Child Policy that was helpful in my summary of China's attitude towards females. Google search. "Gender Equality." UNICEF. Accessed March 15, 2014. http://www.unicefchina.org/en/index.php?m=content&c=index&a=lists&catid=135. The article describes the inequality females face in China regarding education and social health. Google search. Gregg, Steve. E-mail interview by the author. Oakland, CA. March 6, 2014. I asked Mr. Gregg for some AP CompSci exam data for the past 5 years. Henke, Chrystal. Telephone interview by the author. Oakland, CA. April 12, 2014. Ms. Henke is my senior project manager. While speaking to her about the parameters of my project I asked about her experience in CS. "Higher Education in Science and Engineering." National Science Foundation. Accessed February 22, 2014. http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind12/c2/c2h.htm. This site provided statistics on the number of students majoring and receiving doctorates in STEM for the US and China as well as statistics on women in STEM in higher education. I found the National Science Foundation website through a simple google search, but within the website there was a page of linked articles on my topic, which is where I found this article. Hill, Catherine, Christianne Corbett, and Andresse St. Rose. "Why so Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics." American Association of University Women (AAUW). Last modified February 2010. Accessed February 23, 2014. http://www.aauw.org/files/2013/02/Why-SoFew-Women-in-Science-Technology-Engineering-and-Mathematics.pdf. This major report included many useful graphs and statistics as well as several hypotheses on the lack of women in STEM and possible solutions. One study mentioned in the report focused mainly on the female experience as a computer science major in college. I found this site through a simple google search. Koziupa, Tatyana. Interview by the author. Oakland, CA. April 23, 2014. Ms. Koziupa (the LS/MS tech teacher and HRS tech integrationist) and I spoke about the tech classes in the lower school and the larger vision of the whole school on tech integration and computer science. I also observed one of her second grade tech classes to survey for myself the level of interest among students and observe the content of their classes. Madhani, Aamer. "Obama to Take Executive Action on Equal Pay Rules." USA Today. Last modified April 7, 2014. Accessed May 5, 2014. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/04/07/obama-equalpay-executive-action/7423401/. The article provides some context on President Obama's Paycheck Fairness Act. Ms. McKenna suggested I look at this piece of legislation. Miller, Claire Cain. "Technologyâ€™s Man Problem." The New York Times. Last modified April 5, 2014. Accessed April 17, 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/06/technology/technologys-manproblem.html?src=rechp&_r=0. The article shadows the trials and tribulations of being a woman in CS by incorporating several varying (and shocking) viewpoints and personal quotes from women. Rohini Sankaran, one of my interviewees, forwarded me this article. "The National Science Foundation Provides $5.2 Million Grant to Create New Advanced PlacementÂŽ Computer Science Course and Exam." College Board. Last modified June 13, 2013. Accessed March 17
11, 2014. https://www.collegeboard.org/releases/2013/national-science-foundation-provides-52million-grant-create-new-advanced-placement-compute. The article describes the new AP Comp Sci Principles exam the National Science Foundation is funding, and other programs the NSF is funding. Google search. Paris, Frankie. Telephone interview by the author. Oakland, CA. April 15, 2014. Ms. Sarkar suggested that I get the perspective of a girl deterred from STEM. Frankie has quite an interesting perspective on math in that she enjoys and values the humanities more, but is still looking to utilize her math abilities in some capacity in journalism, her intended career path. Paul, Mya. E-mail interview by the author. Oakland, CA. March 6, 2014. Ms. Paul sent me Head-Royce school testing data such as student performance on the ACT, SAT, SAT II, and AP exams in STEM subjects. Plafker, Ted. "China's Long â€” but Uneven â€” March to Literacy." The New York Times. Last modified February 12, 2001. Accessed March 16, 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/02/12/news/12ihtrchina.t.html. Describes the governmental/political push for literacy/educational reform in China. The author also voices some skepticism about China's reported statistics. Google search. "Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA) Result from PISA 2012." Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Last modified 2013. Accessed February 23, 2014P. http://www.oecd.org/pisa/keyfindings/PISA-2012-results-US.pdf. This article includes information on US student performance in mathematics. For example, a student's motivation to learn math, anxiety toward math abilities, and completion of highest level of math. I found the site while browsing through the OECD's website. "Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women." United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Accessed March 15, 2014. http://www.us.undp.org/content/china/en/home/mdgoverview/overview/mdg3/. The article describes the UNDP and China's current efforts in educating women in China. It also touches upon problems that have yet to be addressed. Google search. Raheji, Garima. "Why Teens Need to Learn Computer Basics." Inside Bay Area. Last modified March 6, 2014. Accessed March 9, 2014. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_25288015/why-teens-need-learncomputer-basics?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com. The article describes how Code.org is trying to encourage teenagers to learn coding. Ms. Goglio suggested I look at some Oakland Tribune articles, and once on their website I did a general search about programming. Resmovits, Joy. "New SAT to Bring Back 1600 Point Scale - with Optional Essay." The Huffington Post. Last modified March 5, 2014. Accessed March 6, 2014. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/05/newsat-test_n_4899565.html?utm_hp_ref=education. This article provides information on how the College Board is attempting to revamp the SAT for 2016 in order to be more equitable for families of different incomes and for testing knowledge and skills with real-life applications. It will attempt to get rid of the unfair test prep culture created by tricky SAT questions, to follow CCSS standards of what students should be learning in school, and to have questions with greater real-life applications. I found the article while browsing through the Huffington Post's Education section. "Resources." Women in Technology. Accessed March 13, 2014. http://www.womenintechnology.org/witef/resources. The site provides female STEM interest statistics, STEM career statistics, and other data. Google search. 18
"The Rise of Women: Seven Charts Showing Women's Rapid Gains in Educational Achievement." Russell Sage Foundation. Last modified February 21, 2013. Accessed March 16, 2014. http://www.russellsage.org/blog/rise-women-seven-charts-showing-womens-rapid-gains-educationalachievement. The article provided tables of educational attainment for women and men in the US for the past 50 years, which conflicts with previous information from another source. Google search. Sankaran, Rohini. Interview by the author. Oakland, CA. April 16, 2014. Ms. Sankaran is a friend of Mr. Kinney. She is currently at Cal receiving her doctorate in Materials Sciences and Engineering. During the interview we discussed her upbringing and experiences in STEM. "Science and Engineering Labor Force." National Science Foundation. Accessed February 22, 2014. http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind12/c3/c3h.htm. This site provided the percentages of women in different STEM fields such as biological/medical sciences, engineering, and computer/mathematic sciences. It also included the growth rate of the number of researchers in both China and the US. I found the National Science Foundation website through a simple google search, but within the website there was a page of linked articles on my topic, which is where I found this article. "Science,Technology and Innovation MetaData: Women in Science." UNESCO. Accessed March 20, 2014. http://data.uis.unesco.org/index.aspx?queryid=118&export. The site compiled the percentages of female researchers in STEM in some Chinese cities like Hong Kong and Macau. I found it browsing through the UNESCO site. Smith, Dan. The Penguin State of the World Atlas. Ninth ed. New York City, NY: Penguin Group, 2012. I found statistics and cute graphics tracking the quality of life, distribution of wealth, and gender equity in both China and the US. This book was a resource available in the classroom. "Stagnant 2013 SATÂŽ Results Are Call to Action for the College Board." College Board. Last modified September 26, 2014. Accessed March 10, 2014. https://www.collegeboard.org/releases/2013/stagnant2013-sat-results-require-action. This article describes the average results from the 2013 SAT exam and hypothesizes some of the possible reasons for such low test averages. I found the article while browsing the College Board's website. "Statistical Communique 1998." National Bureau of Statistics of China. Last modified March 31, 2002. Accessed March 15, 2014. http://www.stats.gov.cn/english/StatisticalCommuniqu/200203/t20020331_61429.html. The article provides a general overview of the status of China. It provides educational statistics and rural residential statistics. I found the name of the National Bureau of Statistics of China from another article and searched its site for information on China's education. "Statistical CommuniquĂŠ of the People's Republic of China on the 2012 National Economic and Social Development." National Bureau of Statistics of China. Last modified February 22, 2013. Accessed March 15, 2014. http://www.stats.gov.cn/english/StatisticalCommuniqu/201302/t20130222_61456.html. Provides statistics on educational attainment levels and the migration of rural residents to urban cities in China. I found the National Bureau of Statistics of China from another article and searched its site for information on China's education.
Stout, Kristie Lu. "Mind the Gap: China's Great Education Divide." CNN. Last modified December 17, 2013. Accessed March 2, 2014. http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/17/world/asia/china-education-gap-stout/. This article exposed the inequity in China's educational system and questions the validity of China's performance on the OECD as it only tracks high performing students in urban areas. I found the website through google. Tsang, Mun C. "Education and National Development in China since 1949: Oscillating Policies and Enduring Dilemmas." Cnefr.net. Last modified 2000. Accessed March 15, 2014. http://cnefr.net/yjdh/wxlb/qt/images/2009/1/18/407.pdf. Provides a general time line of political and educational changes in China. Google search. Turner, Barry, ed. The Stateman's Yearbook 2013. New York City, NY: Macmillan Publishers, 2012. I found some information on the government's role in education in both countries. For example, government spending on education, reforms, and laws. This book was a resource available in the classroom. "Unemployment, Youth Total." The World Bank. Accessed March 19, 2014. http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SL.UEM.1524.ZS. The site has unemployment statistics for Hong Kong for the last 20 years at least. Found the site as a related link from gapminder.org, which is a resource from Mr. Davies' Economics class. United Nations. Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific 2013. N.p.: United Nations Pubns, 2013. Accessed March 18, 2014. http://www.uis.unesco.org/Library/Documents/statistical-yearbook-asiapacific-country-profiles-education-2013-en.pdf. The site provides educational, literacy, and employment statistics for China. Found it while browsing through UNESCO's website. "United States Educational Attainment of the Population 25 Years and Over: 1940 to 2000." United States Census Bureau. Accessed March 13, 2014. http://www.census.gov/hhes/socdemo/education/data/census/half-century/files/US.pdf. Provided data for the last 70 years of educational attainment among men and women for high school diplomas and bachelor's degrees. Google search targeting the census bureau. Wagstaff, Keith. "Can We Fix Computer Science Education in America?" Time. Last modified July 16, 2012. Accessed March 11, 2014. http://techland.time.com/2012/07/16/can-we-fix-computer-scienceeducation-in-america/. The op-ed explores why there is a decrease in students who are interested in CS. Google search. Wang, Yan. "A New Direction for Education Reform in China." OECD Education Today. Last modified December 16, 2013. Accessed March 5, 2014. http://oecdeducationtoday.blogspot.com/2013/12/anew-direction-for-education-reform-in.html. This article provided information on the most recent educational reforms in China, which include revamping the college entrance exams and the decrease of governmental bureaucratic control of education. I found the website through a google search, and this site has provided me several other links to related articles. Weisenthal, Joe. "Here's The New Ranking Of Top Countries In Reading, Science, And Math Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/pisa-rankings-2013-12#ixzz2uqOkagvm." Business Insider. Last modified December 3, 2013. Accessed February 23, 2014. http://www.businessinsider.com/pisarankings-2013-12. This article provided 2013 OECD test scores with a breakdown of points for each of the three test sections. It compared China (Shanghai), the US, and the OECD test average for all three test sections as well. I found the site using a google search. 20
Yoder, Brian L. "Engineering by the Numbers." American Society of Engineering Education. Last modified 2011. Accessed February 22, 2014. http://www.asee.org/papers-and-publications/publications/collegeprofiles/2011-profile-engineering-statistics.pdf. This website included statistics on female attainment of bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in STEM compared to men. I also found several helpful graphs that display such information. I found the site using a google search.
The Beautiful Game: Still Rough Around the Edges By Colin Leach
Abstract Acts of intolerance have been a large issue at soccer stadiums throughout Europe for decades up to the present. Different leagues throughout Europe vary in how they attempt to fight problems such as racism, with some leagues making no attempt at all. Therefore, some leagues have been more progressive in how they have eliminated racism from soccer. The next step, given that acts of racism keep occurring, is for the larger soccer organizations such as FIFA to start responding to intolerance. Unfortunately, even with sanctions, acts of racism may not ever stop occurring at soccer matches.
The Beautiful Game: Still Rough Around the Edges
After living in London, England I became completely submerged in the culture of football. I quickly became a fan of a local club in the English Premier League called Arsenal. The beautiful game is the most popular sport in the world. Many also consider the game a form of art. That is why it is hard to see acts of intolerance take place in the sport. The game I have grown to love and have enjoyed playing, is being tainted by random acts of bigotry. Competitive ball games have been present in almost all cultures of the ancient world. Soccer, more commonly known as Football, originated from different sports around the world that require the use of feet. The first forms of balls that could be kicked date all the way back to 2000 BCE. During the Beijing Football Expo
in 2004, Sepp Blatter
China as the home of
statement was fueled
by the Chinese
game cuju, which
kickball. In China,
cuju was a
kicking game that
popular under the
Han. The game was played with a stitched leather ball stuffer with fur or feathers. There was a marked field with two goals on two ends. The goals in this game were moon or crescent shaped. In some accounts the goal was a hole in a
silk sheet that was hung between two bamboo posts. The game was most likely popular in the army as a form of training and recreation. As the game evolved, so did the ball, which became increasingly hollow. This new ball was not fit for the heavily aggressive style of play. Eventually two different versions of cuju evolved. There was the more popular version and then the courtly version of the game. Over time the Han dynasty declined and the Ming dynasty replaced it in the fourteenth century. With this change, the game cuju disappeared.8 Even though cuju disappeared, the game spread as China expanded and established trade routes, which led to new developments of kicking games around the world. For example, Sepak Raga was a game played in the Malay Peninsula. Sepak (Malay) Raga (Thai) also means kickball. The sport was a cross between football and volleyball that was played with a ball made out of rattan. On the other hand, another game called kemari emerged in Japan, which dates back as far as the sixth century BCE according to Japanese historians. Kemari was very similar to cuju, at least the courtly version, but this game was being played in Japan long before cuju became popular in China. Kemari was plaed on a six or seven meter dirt square marked by four trees placed at its corners. That is why the game was also referred to as ‘standing among the trees’. The trees were cherry, willow or maple. Pine trees were also used but they were considered to have high status. Eight players would play at a time, standing in pairs with one person on each side of the trees. The ball was hollow and made with deerskin. The ball was either painted white using albumen or dyed yellow using smoke from pine needle flames. The team with the highest status would start the game. The objective of this game was to keep the ball in the air as long as possible. Teams used their trees off which to bounce the ball if necessary. Teams and individuals would be praised for their ball skills and would receive extra kicks for specific teams.8 To end a game of kemari, the player of the highest status would kick the ball high into the air and catch it in his kimono.
The sport became popular among the Japanese elite during the twelth and thirteenth centuries. Eventually houses of kemari were created with each house having a distinct version of rules, and training. While active emperor, emperor Gotoba established the dress code of the game: specific color socks would be worn depending on social rank. Kemari made it as a sport as far as the nineteenth century, however it did die out as a sport in Japan as the nation made efforts to industrialize. The game quickly became insignificant, only being played by those close to the emperor to hold ties to the country’s past. By the end of World War II the game ultimately vanished. While these early sports in the Far East and Mesoamerica had their audiences, Europe was different because that’s when large stadiums start to be seen. For example, Rome was host of the most impressive stadium of its time. The Coliseum was a five story 50,000 seat stadium that remained the greatest stadium until the twentieth century when it was surpassed.8 However, sports in Europe were not as significant as elsewhere. The culture of sport in Europe was more focused on violence. This was caused by the constant warfare that took place in Europe. Gladiators were combatants that fought to entertain crowds in during the Roman Empire. This was a sport that was quite popular in this empire and left no room for a game involving a ball. In addition, there was jousting and hunting which were also sports but during the Middle Ages. These sports were favored because they were fit for mounted warriors, which were common back then. Even though Europe did not initially focus on football it slowly became popular in the northwestern corner of Europe, which was excluded from the control of Rome. In addition, this region was not completely absorbed by the wave of Christianity. Christianity was not completely adopted by the region; it kept its initial tribal belief systems. This region includes the Celtic culture. The Celtic culture heavily influenced the outcome of English football. The fact that ball sports were played in this region speaks on the idea that the culture remained separate throughout
the medieval era. Therefore they avoided the aggressive Roman Empire. In addition, Celtic societies avoided the wave of Christianity that struck throughout Europe. Had Celtic societies fallen under these influences, football probably would not have made it to the present. Roman invasion would have destroyed the Celtic societies that would maintain the sport. Furthermore, had Christianity taken hold in Celtic society, the culture around the sports that eventually would have led into soccer would have been altered; the culture itself may have been eliminated. The actual sport of soccer dates back to the fourteenth century when observers described the game as one where players ‘roll the ball across the ground or striking it with feet.’ The game was banned somewhere between 1450 and 1650 in provincial towns such as Manchester, Liverpool, and Leicester. Despite that, the people continued to play, fueled by strong disapproval of the sanctions and driven by the sport’s social significance—especially for lower classes. Due to the chance course of history and the Anglo-Celtic conflict of the eighteenth century, modern football was created.8 The next step for football after its creation was its growth in Britain. This growth started in British schools. Football grew as a result of boys in British schools being too violent. Teachers gathered and proposed a class specifically designed to relieve students of this violent nature. In addition, the educators believed it built character; students would learn about cooperation and competition through sports. Soon, soccer made its way into this class at public schools. Yet, the sport was only a minor recreational pastime for the upper class in the early 1870s. It was on July 20th 1871, that soccer in England really took off. On that day, the Football Association (FA) created a tournament for football clubs. The tournament was called the Football Association Challenge Cup. C. W. Alcock, the Secretary for the FA announced on the day that the tournament was created that, “It is desirable that a challenge cup should be established in connection with the association, for which all clubs belonging to the association
should be invited to compete.” For the first FA Challenge cup, fifty teams were eligible, but only fifteen teams entered the tournament. Some teams declined participating in the tournament strictly due to the costs and difficulty of nationwide travel. This tournament was significant outside of that that it was the first FA Challenge Cup, the FA also established the official rules of the tournament that would be the start of the rule system of football of the present. Fields in the 1870s were much larger than modern-day pitches, almost twice as large. Initially there were four flags to mark the boundary of these large fields. Lines were not painted on the field as boundaries at this point in football’s history. For goals there were too goal posts that were attached by tape. The tape served as a makeshift crossbar until the actual crossbar was included as part of goals in 1882.8 The first time actual nets of a goal were added was ten years later. Furthermore, goalposts were square at this point in time. Goalposts only became circular in the twentieth century. Soccer’s storied history and origins have long been intertwined with incidents of intolerance, including religious and racial abuse. Even as outlooks on the sport have changed, with many of the wealthiest and highest-level leagues now including players from around the world, acts of racism have still been prevalent in recent years. It is highly possible that racism will remain existent just as long as soccer, however, the main concern is what precautions are being taken to keep intolerance from tainting “the beautiful game.” Before examining acts of intolerance, it is important to find the roots of the conflict. Football grew into a global game from a game played only among the elite of British society.8 This may have begun the ill feeling toward inclusion of others whether this was regarding race or social class. In the present acts of intolerance are still occurring today and these feelings may originate in the prejudices established in the world of football by British aristocrats. Today many reasons that racism occurs stem from immigration,9 as evidenced by how citizens of different European countries responded to players of different
ethnicities going to play football early on in the professional sport’s history. Why the targeting of immigrants? Immigrants have often been blamed for taking advantage of social services and abusing the welfare state. This is primarily true in times of economic downturn. In football specifically, players of minority were entering Europe to play football professionally. Some viewed this as an act of stealing job opportunities, but the backlash was mostly in response to immigration on a large scale. Soccer players from other countries bore the brunt of larger bigotry and economic complaints. There is a relationship between the number of incidents involving intolerance and how open countries are to diversity, so tackling this conflict may be key to fixing problems inside the stadium. When it comes to knocking intolerance out of football, England has led by example. England as a country has taken many preventative measures regarding racism, which have led the country to host a variety of players from around the world. In England, 25% of all professional players are black.15 In 1976 England created the Commission for Racial Equality, which enforced antidiscrimination laws. Only fifteen years later, England took another precaution to defend professional football players from racist abuse. The Football Offences Act, passed in 1991, made racist chants at a football field a criminal act. In addition to this law, advancements in technology have also been key in eliminating intolerance at football games in England. Every stadium is now equipped with high-quality cameras that can focus in on any spectators who may possibly be shouting racist chants at players. However, even with these renovations, still only 1% of fans that attend professional matches in England are black.1 Now another problem that England must deal with is keeping racism off the field. Within the past two years there have been problems with racism between players. In 2011 Liverpool player Luis Suárez was accused of using a racial slur toward Manchester United player Patrice Evra. Suárez was given an 8-match ban and then a fine of $40,000. A similar event occurred in 2012 when Chelsea player John Terry racially abused Queens Park Rangers player Anton
Ferdinand. John Terry received a four-match ban and a £220,000 fine for his actions.16 Even though these events occurred fairly recently, England is still doing much better than other countries at keeping racism out of the sport on a large scale. It is obvious that different countries have tackled these problems very differently, but it is still a mystery why other leagues haven’t taken these precautions. It is obvious that Italy has taken a different path from England. No matter the country, extremist groups such as ultras and neo-Nazis have used stadiums as platforms for their views.9 The ultras ultimately started chants of intolerance in Italian soccer stadiums. At first these chants started when people from Northern Italy were articulating their views toward Southern Italians, but eventually things got out of hand and spread to immigrants as neo-Nazi groups began to develop. The main reason that groups still gather at Italian stadiums and harass players and fans of opposing teams is because there is a lack of police enforcement. Security guards are scared of entering the hostile crowds to make arrests.7 That is why, to this day, events involving racist or anti-Semitic chants in Italy still appear in the news. The larger organizations in Italy now are prosecuting these actions. Teams may be fined for disrespectful fans. Teams may be forced to play homes games at an away location. If conditions are extreme enough then teams may be kept out of certain league or even international competitions. These precautions may help in finally making a change in Italian football.
In Italy, there was recently an incident of racism which occurred when
Serie A team AC Milan played local club side Pro Patria in an exhibition match. During the game, players on AC Milan including Kevin Prince Boateng and M’baye Niang were victims of racial abuse.18 Pro Patria fans threw bananas at the two black players and directed monkey chants at them. Pro Patria was fined $20,000.14 That is one of many acts of abuse toward AC Milan, a team with numerous players of African descent. As a result of all the racist abuse directed toward AC Milan, FIFA was forced to establish and enforce stricter sanctions against racism and policies to prevent racism. Spain is another country that suffers from acts of racism in football. In 2006, Samuel Eto’o was still a striker for Catalan club FC Barcelona. During a game against Real Zaragoza he was receiving so much racist abuse that he almost walked off the field. In an attempt to show the foolishness of the fans’ racism, he pointed to Zaragoza defender Alvaro who is also black. Unfortunately, there was no punishment for this event.11 However, La Liga has come a long way in terms of sanctions. Dani Alves, another FC Barcelona player, was a victim of racial abuse as recently as April 27th 2014. While Dani Alves was preparing to take a corner, a fan of the opposing team, Villareal, threw a banana at him. The Barcelona defender impulsively responded by taking a bite out of the banana. Later, in response to the larger situation, Villareal received a €12,000 fine and the fan who threw the banana, who was also a member of a Villareal youth team, was removed from the Villareal youth system and was banned from ever returning to a Villareal match again.17 What bigots in these countries don’t recognize is that these leagues are only known for the highest levels of football because of the immigration of key players, if put simply practical vs. ethical terms. Opening up the market to players from around the world brought better talent to these leagues and brought financial dominance as well. Honestly, the reason that the English Premier League has reached the peak of football as the most competitive league in the
world is because players do not hesitate at the idea of taking their talent to England. England took the steps in order to invite talent from around the world while protecting their human rights. That is what all leagues must do in order to become as successful as possible, not to mention to become as accepting and tolerant as possible. It’s easy to look at Europe as a location where all these problems are still prevalent. However, one must ask are the United States any better? After interviewing Karen Mihara, the Program Administrator of Safe Haven, I learned a little more about the answer to that question. Karen Mihara, as part of the Safe Haven program, responds to acts of intolerance in youth soccer leagues. Safe Haven is a program that works with the American Youth Soccer Organization with the ultimate goal of protecting the players and teaching the players how to interact with one another. Karen Mihara informed me that racism in not a frequent issue that occurs in youth soccer leagues, however, it has happened before. While conducting an interview with the administrator of Safe Haven I was informed that the worse case of racism she ever had to deal with was with five year olds. One boy used a racial slur when referring to two African-American players on his team. In response to the incident, the child and his parents apologized. Despite acts of racism occurring only twice a year for Safe Haven, it is extremely surprising that this event happened between five year olds. It is clear that the kid was learning from his parents according to Karen Mihara, but it is also evident that racism is still very alive in the United States. Outside of soccer, racial intolerance has still made its way into sports with a heavier American focus such as basketball and American football. When it comes to the Washington Redskins, Rob Lake, the Head of the Head-Royce School believes that it is necessary to change the name of that franchise for the sake of the Native American community--even at the risk of angering fans. Another incident that has happened very recently has been the Los Angeles Clippers scandal
about the basketball organization’s owner, Donald Sterling, who made racist remarks toward black people. It is clear that racism is still prevalent today. Acts of racism occur every now and then and it appears that these acts may never stop. There are still reasons to be hopeful because these acts of racial abuse are becoming less frequent, usually happening only once or twice a year. Rob Lake explains why he is optimistic about the world and eliminating racism. He is patient, and believes that the world is moving in a direction of more and more tolerance with each new generation. However, Rob Lake also emphasized the possibility that racism will always be present. One way that racism in football could be challenged is by having players of color or differing religious views play for teams with intolerant fans. These players would perform for these fans and make them happy and that may be a step that in the right direction of eliminating racism in football. Another method would be to punish teams whether the punishment is through fines or if it means keeping certain club or national teams out of international competitions or if it means deducting points from teams in terms of table placement. These methods seem to be the best methods because some locations have gotten out of control with intolerance that police force can no longer ease the problem. In addition, some teams are part of million dollar, even billion dollar organizations so fines will not stop teams like that with fines worth thousands of dollars. Nonetheless, it is necessary that larger football organizations are taking action against intolerance; their response is long overdue. They are the catalysts for substantial change.
Bibliography 1. Ames, Paul. "Fear of a Black Europe: Racism Rises on the Old Continent."
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CNBC. Last modified May 27, 2013. Accessed March 3, 2014. http://www.cnbc.com/id/100767652. Ames, Paul, and Samantha Stainburn. "FIFA Introduces Stricter Anti-Racism Rules." GlobalPost. Accessed April 4, 2014. http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/world-at-play/fifaintroduces-stricter-anti-racism-rules. "Balotelli: I've Had Enough of Racist Abuse." CNN. Last modified May 15, 2013. Accessed March 5, 2014. http://edition.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/sports/2013/05/15/pinto-balotellimilan-racism-england.cnn.html. Blickenstaff, Brian. "Issue of Racism Demands Sport's Attention." ESPN. Last modified June 5, 2013. Accessed March 7, 2014. http://espnfc.com/blog/_/name/espnfcunited/id/6247?cc=5901. "Boateng: Racism in Football Must End." CNN. Last modified March 22, 2013. Accessed March 6, 2014. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzN3yJXlWrg. "FIFA against Discrimination." FIFA.com. Accessed March 3, 2014. http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/socialresponsibility/antiracism/. FIFA.com. "FIFA Task Force Requests Stronger Sanctions against Racism and Discrimination." FIFA.com. Last modified May 6, 2013. Accessed March 30, 2014. http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/socialresponsibility/news/newsid=2074776/. Goldblatt, David. The Ball is Round. New York, NY: the Penguin Group, n.d. Kassemeris, Christos. "European Football in Black and White: Tackling Racism in Football." In Soccer & Society, 1-4. N.p.: Priya, 2011.
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Italian Football." In Soccer & Society, by Christos Kassemeris, 1-13. 5th ed. Vol. 12. N.p.: n.p., 2011. ———. "Franco, the Popular Game and Ethnocentric Conduct in Modern Spanish Football." In Soccer & Society, 1-16. 4th ed. Vol. 13. N.p.: n.p., 2012. Morley, Gary. "History of Racism in Soccer." OriginalPeople. Last modified February 23, 2012. Accessed March 15, 2014. http://originalpeople.org/cnndocumentary-history-racism-soccer/. Povoledo, Elisabetta, and Steven Erlanger. "Soccer Racism Prompts Walkout, Outrage." The New York Times. Last modified January 4, 2013. Accessed March 1, 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/05/world/europe/pro-patria-fansracism-prompts-ac-milan-walkout-and-outrage.html?_r=0. "Racism at Italian Soccer Matches." ABC News. Last modified July 1, 2013. Accessed March 10, 2014. http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/story?id=130886. "Resolution on the Fight against Racism and Discrimination." Resolution on the Fight against Racism. Last modified May 31, 2013. Accessed April 3, 2014. http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/afsocial/anti-racism/02/08/56/92/fifa-paperagainst-racism-en-def_neutral.pdf. Thompson, Wright. "When the Beautiful Game Turns Ugly." ESPN. Last modified June 6, 2013. Accessed March 6, 2014. http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/9338962/when-beautiful-game-turnsugly.
17. “Villareal Fined €12,000 for Banana Thrown at Barcelona’s Dani Alves.” Theguardian.com. Guardian News and Media, 07 May 2014. Web. 08 May 2014 http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/may/07/dani-‐alves-‐villarreal-‐ barcelona-‐racism-‐banana Images: 18. Gibson, Owen. “World Cup 2010: Sepp Blatter Performs U-‐turn over Goalline Technology.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 30 June 2010. Web. 02 May 2014. http://www.theguardian.com/football/2010/jun/29/sepp-‐blatter-‐goalline-‐ technology 19. “Pro Patria Sanctioned after Boateng Racist Chants.” Capital Sports RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 May 2014. http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/sports/2013/01/09/pro-‐patria-‐sanctioned-‐after-‐ boateng-‐racist-‐chants/ 20. “Caribbean Strongman to Lead FIFA Anti-‐racism Task Force.” SportsKeeda. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 May 2014. http://www.sportskeeda.com/football/caribbean-‐strongman-‐to-‐lead-‐fifa-‐anti-‐ racism-‐task-‐force/
Jordan Perteet Global Issues
The Evolution of Hip Hop: From an Underground Culture to a Global Market
Abstract This paper dives into the evolution of hip-‐hop from a culture into a global business. Explaining the markets, backdoor dealings, and historical pillars of the hip-‐hop industry, this essay is a must read for hip hop enthusiasts who want to understand how decisions are made in the business world of hip-‐hop. I conducted interviews, read blogs and books, analyzed song lyrics, studied business models, and browsed various media news websites compiling all of the information presented, and am much more prepared to work to enter the hip-‐hop industry.
I was surrounded by the sound of scattered conversations, Yurie’s loud and
unending laughter, and the frustrated groans of Paul and Mel losing in StarCraft. It was a typical Tuesday lunch for most people in the Wells/Correa homeroom, but not for me. I had my laptop, MIDI keyboard, ear buds, and the determination to finish the track I was working on. I had just plugged in my headphones and shut out the surrounding world when my screen was suddenly pulled back so that an intruding face could see what I was working on.
“Oh God he’s trying to make music,” Lex groaned, creating quotation marks with his
hands as he said the word ‘music’. “Jordan there’s nothing impressive about what you’re doing–all you have to do is push a button on your computer. And if you’re making hip-‐hop, that’s even worse! That stuff isn’t music, it’s just noise!” I jumped out of my seat, ready to argue, but then thought to myself, it’s not worth the effort. I had had this debate with Lex many times before and was completely done with trying to prove my point.
For me, hip-‐hop has been much more than just music. It’s been a form of self-‐
expression when words don’t suffice, an escape from stress, a motivator in times of high-‐ pressure, and so much more. For over seven years now, hip-‐hop has been sustenance for my soul, and to hear the constant degradation of the culture that helps to raise me up feels extremely disheartening. In just under 60 years, hip-‐hop has grown from a way of life hidden in the slums of New York, to a multi-‐billion dollar industry that touches people in all corners of the world, but at the same time, it has become synonymous with a culture promoting sex, drugs, and money. Media conglomerates have boosted music featuring these values to the mainstream, which has contributed to the stigma associated with the hip-‐hop movement. In fact, at its core, hip-‐hop is a positive culture that is built from
struggle and pain. These values, while not lost among hip-‐hop heads around the world, are almost unknown to listeners on the outskirts of the hip-‐hop audience. Hip-‐hop, while still a young and developing culture, now plays a major role in the lives of different generations of people around the globe, but the lifestyle is most prevalent in American culture, where it has its roots. There are four main pillars that make up Hip Hop culture: graffiti, DJ‘ing, breaking, and MC’ing1. All of these cultural pillars have played their part in the advancement of not only African-‐American culture, but in shaping the pop cultures of a variety of nations. In the late 1960’s, graffiti emerged in America as a way for gangs to mark their territory and for political activists to express their opinions in a way that a broader audience of people could relate to. In Hip Hop culture, graffiti was, and still is, used as a method of controlled and mature rebellion against those who do not recognize the legitimacy of their opinions, ideas, thoughts, and, most importantly, their art. In relation to the other pillars of Hip Hop, DJ’s and MC’s, also known as rappers, enlisted graffiti artists to create flyers promoting their shows and parties2.
1 Laurence, Rebecca. "40 Years on from the Party Where Hip Hop Was Born." BBC. Last modified August 9, 2013. Accessed March 5, 2014. http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20130809-the-party-where-hip-hop-was-born.
Element, Kevin. "Hard Hitting Modern Perspective on Hip Hop Graffiti." Graffiti.org. Last modified 1996. Accessed March 10, 2014. http://www.graffiti.org/faq/element.html.
The Invite Sent Out for DJ Kool Herc’s 1973 Back to School Party3
One example of this is the invitation to the most important even in the history of Hip Hop: DJ Kool Herc’s Back to School Party at 1520 Sedwick Ave in the Bronx. The invites were created on notecards, but used the bubble art specific to graffiti art of the time. DJ Kool Herc’s Back to School Party is where many argue that hip-‐hop music was born. Kool Herc was an Afro-‐Caribbean New Yorker who experimented with mixing cultural West Indian music with the popular disco tunes of the 1970’s4. At this legendary party, Herc took the break of a disco track, which is the instrumental part that was best for dancing, and he looped it. After looping the break, he decided to pick up a microphone and put some rhyming lyrics over it. This had never really been done. The closest thing was spoken word, but Herc took the poetry and set it to music. The birth of a genre came out of this party, and DJ’s all around New York started teaming up with MC’s, and creating more intricate breaks by mixing two different tracks. Through the birth of MC’ing, so came the birth of the producer: the person who created or played the track that was being used for performances5. The break of a song is the best time for dancing, and DJ’s tend to extend the breaks to allow for longer periods of dancing. The dances form that evolved from these periods has grown into its own culture: breaking. Also known as break dancing or B-‐Boy’ing, breaking is a staple of hip-‐hop culture. With influences from legends such as James Brown, breaking became a way for youth to express themselves and settle disputes through battles. It was a positive form of self-‐expression that kept disputing gangs from resorting to violence, just as 3 DJ Kool Herc Back to School Party Invitation. Photograph. BBC. Accessed March 10, 2014. http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/wwfeatures/624_351/images/live/p0/1d/wg/p01dwgjw.jpg. 4
Reyes, Elvin, MC Greg Nice, Curtis Sherrod, DJ Silva-Sirfa, Mark Naison, and Dr. Marcyliena Morgan. Interview by Tufuku Zuberi. Http://www-tc.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/static/media/transcripts/2011-05-21/611_hiphop.pdf. 2008. 5
PBS. Last modified 2006. Accessed March 6, 2014. http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/hiphop/about_hiphop.htm.
graffiti was used to mark a gang’s area, breaking was used to win territory from another gang6. One notorious group of breakers from the Bronx was the group called the Zulu Kings, who were associated with the hip-‐hop activist group Zulu Nation. Zulu Nation, founded by Afrika Bambaataa, was a group dedicated to using music and dance to solve issues that created division and tension among African-‐Americans within their own culture. Afrika Bambaataa represented a political movement in the projects of the Bronx and used their aggressive, yet non-‐violent, techniques of music and dance to let their voices be heard7. The most popular pillar of hip-‐hop is the MC’ing. The MC, also known as the Master of Ceremonies is the lyricist who lays down rhymes over the breaks given to them by DJ’s. As I mentioned earlier, Kool Herc was the first to “rap” over a record and kick off the Hip Hop music movement, but the first recorded rap song is one that every knows, and one that took America by storm. ‘Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugar Hill Gang is the most influential track of all time. It started off with a group of three different youth cyphering, or rapping in a circle. They were three guys who had never met in their life, but who had been united through their art and love of rhyming. The group of youth impressed music professional Sylvia Robinson, who took them under her wing and recorded their hit song under the label Sugar Hill Records. The record was an ‘instant hit” and showed the world that hip-‐hop was real and something to be taken seriously. Sylvia then went on to record another hip-‐hop classic with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five: “The Message,” which proved that not only could hip-‐hop be a fun thing to listen to and bond over, but that it could carry 6 "Breakdancing with Mr.Fresh & The Supreme Rockers." Global Darkeness. Last modified 2002. Accessed March 10, 2014. http://www.globaldarkness.com/articles/history%20of%20breaking.htm. 7 Watkins, Samuel Craig. Hip Hop Matters: Politics, Pop Culture, and the Struggle for the Soul of a Movement. Boston: Beacon Press, 2005.
messages and represent the political consciousness of African-‐American people8. At that time in history (the 1980’s), racial tension in New York was at a peak, and Black people, as a collective, were struggling9. The chorus of “The Message” completely embodies the mindset of that generation of Black youth:
The Chorus of “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five10
These four pillars of Hip-‐hop are deeply intertwined with each other and are responsible for uniting a wide span of generations. Hip-‐hop gives people a way to make their voice heard, and it gives them a chance to spend their time doing something positive and constructive. This rebel culture has taken the world by storm, becoming integrated in a variety of cultures around the globe. Today, breaking has become a large part of French dance culture. Hip-‐hop is found in various American, European, Asian, and Afro-‐Caribbean cultures, and Eastern European cultures have put their own spin on DJ’ing and producing with the creation of electronic synthesizers and instruments.
Watkins, Samuel Craig. Hip Hop Matters: Politics, Pop Culture, and the Struggle for the Soul of a Movement. Boston: Beacon Press, 2005.
"History of New York (1978- Present)." Wikipedia. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_New_York_City_(1978–present). Explanation of racial tension in the 1980's in New York 10
Grand Master Flash and The Furious Five. "The Message Lyrics." Rap Genius. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://rapgenius.com/Grandmaster-flash-and-the-furious-five-the-message-lyrics.
“Taking electronic music to include hip hop as well as house and techno – basically, records without guitars –we see a decline from 1983 (18%) to 1998 (9.5%), then a rise to 17.5% in 2001; a slump to 4.5% in 2005; followed by a swift upward trajectory to its all-‐time high of 40% in 2012. This has been driven mainly by the surging popularity of rap since the early ‘00s, but also an increasing appetite by Triple J listeners for th electronic of the Presets, Prodigy, Fatboy Slim, and the chemical Brothers but latterly driven by acts like Flume, Pendulum, Calvin Harris, and Skrillex11 .”
Hip-‐hop has had a major influence on cultures all around the world, yet ever since
the emergence of hip-‐hop music, controversy has followed the art across the globe, shrouding the hip-‐hop movement in violence and sex. Hip-‐hop started off as a culture of struggle – a battle to be the best artist you could possibly be, an effort to makd the best out of situations, a fight through art to reach a greater goal. Hip-‐hop is supposed to be about building a community, as we saw in the Zulu Nation’s fight, but more recently, feuds have started to define hip-‐hop culture. The most well-‐known feuds include conflicts between artist like Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac, 50 Cent and the Game, and most recently, Kendrick Lamar’s declaration of war on what might almost be categorized as the entire hip-‐hop 11 The Ascent of Electronic Music. Photograph. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://www.aux.tv/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/ScreenShot-2014-01-30-at-11.28.52-AM.png.
industry12. Today artists duel over who has the most skill, money, and street credit (the determining factor in how “gangster” a rapper is), which verifies the artists authenticity. These spats between artists have always been a part of hip-‐hop culture, but the level of danger in these arguments is always unpredictable. One artist might respond to being called out lyrically, while another may attempt an assassination. Fortunately, within recent years, resorting to violence is less common among younger rappers in the industry. The violence was mainly an issue in the early 2000’s and left many legends deceased.
Rolling Stone Magazine Cover Showing the Feud Between 50 Cent and Kanye West for the Title of “King of Rap”
Nowadays, artists spend more time provoking lyrical attacks by sarcastically poking fun at each other. Hip-‐hop heavyweight 50 Cent has been involved in both types of feuds.
While the violent culture has somewhat died down, Hip-‐hop has become much more
sexualized. A large number of artists constantly degrade women in their songs, and the terms they have cultivated to describe women, such as “bi**h”, “thot”, “ratchet”, and “ho”, have taken over the daily dialect of today’s youth. The year 2012 was even coined “the year of the ratchet” by Ebony Magazine13. It does not help that influential female artists in the Hip-‐hop world use these words to describe themselves as superior to each other. Nicki 12 Rosenthal, Jeff. "The 10 Wildest Rap Beefs of All Time." The Rolling Stone. Last modified August 15, 2013. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/the-10-wildest-rap-beefs-of-all-time-20130815. 13 Young, Damon. "2012: The Year of the Ratchet." Ebony. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://www.ebony.com/entertainmentculture/2012-year-of-the-ratchet.
Minaj, who has been at war with Lil’ Kim for years, released a track titled “Stupid Ho” to diss Lil’ Kim, and to raise herself up as the “baddest bi**h.”. While sex is a theme that has always been around, the topic has only become more aggressively promoted in recent years. Why is that? It is because sex sells. It has been a marketing strategy that has been employed for years in different industries, and once the Hip-‐hop business became less authentic and more commercialized, sex, in addition to violence, has dominated the airways. As of 2011, 92% of Billboards Top 100 Song Chart is tracks promoting sexual themes and activities14.
How is it that the great grass-‐roots culture that is Hip-‐hop evolved to become co-‐
dependent with corporate America? The four pillars have expanded, and as hip-‐hop started its journey to becoming a multi-‐billion dollar industry, more and more people wanted to be involved. First, record labels started to pop up. One of the very first of these labels is Warner Brothers. When struggling to succeed as movie production company, the Brothers looked to combine music with their movies, and started to sign artists to create soundtracks for their movies. This was partially motivated by the fact that their contracted actors, such as Tab Hunter, had been scoring and recording films for their rival, Paramount Pictures. After they realized that this was working for them, they invested more in their involvement in music and started Warner Music Group and purchased Frank Sinatra’s Reprise Records. Now Warner is considered one of the top major labels and has produced many great artists15.
14 Ruderman, Zoe. "92 Percent of Top Songs About Sex." Cosmopolitan. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://www.cosmopolitan.com/celebrity/news/92-percent-songs-in-billboard-top-100-about-sex. 15
"Warner Music Group." Wikipedia. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warner_Music_Group#History.
Chart Showing Market Ownership Divided Between the Four Major Labels and all Indie Labels16
Most people realize that Time Warner owns Warner Brothers, but what they don’t
realize is that Time Warner’s major shareholders are investment management firms that are involved with a variety of other corporations. Two of these management firms are named Vanguard Group Inc. and Blackrock. Blackrock is not only Time Warner’s largest shareholder, but Viacom’s as well. Both Time Warner and Viacom are giants in the world of media conglomerates, and they own a large number of businesses that are major contributors to the hip-‐hop community. Vanguard is also a heavy investor in both Time Warner and Viacom, as the group is the third largest shareholder for both conglomerates. Why are Vanguard and Blackrock significant? The media is a very versatile industry, and like other businesses, the parties involved in the media industry are dependent on shareholders to support their ventures. What really made these two catch me eye are the other companies that they invest in. Vanguard Group Inc. is the number one shareholder for CCA (Corrections Corporation of America) and the third largest shareholder for the GEO group, both of which are correctional groups that are associated and responsible for 16 "Market Share by Label Ownership Picture." http://a2im.org/files/2013/01/LOGO_MktShrByLblOwnership1.JPG.
prisons across the country. Blackrock is also a large supporter of these two correctional groups; they are the number two shareholder (second behind Vanguard) for CCA, and the sixth largest shareholder for GEO17. Now, why is an investment firm that is so heavily involved in the prison industry, be concerned with the media industry? I believe that, since prisons are so profitable, these firms that have invested so heavily in them are trying to influence the media conglomerates to keep sex, violence, and substance abuse in the mainstream, so that people, especially youth of color, are exposed to these exploits. Once people have been exposed to these themes in high volume, it is only a matter of time until the slowly embed themselves in the listeners consciousness. I am not the only person who shares this theory. In 2012, a detailed letter was anonymously released, telling the story of a meeting between influential businessmen in the music industry. These men had been invited to encourage artists to promote these values because companies that had invested in them had also invested in private prisons. There is extremely limited information on how true this letter is, as no names were mentioned, but extremely heated internet debates have occurred, arguing whether or not the letter is valid in any way18. While hip-‐hop has constantly been controlled by the corporations, the culture has grown beyond record labels and artists, into a booming multi-‐faceted global market, and the industry would not be where it is now, had it not been for the honest corporations that looked to partner with and build up the hip-‐hop community. Fashion lines have been born, TV series, commercials, and films have been aired starring hip-‐hop artists and showcasing the beauty of hip-‐hop, and artists are able to branch away from music to venture into 17 D, Davey. "The Facts About Hip Hop and Prison Profit." Davey D's Hip Hop Corner. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2013/04/24/jailhouse-roc-the-facts-about-hip-hop-and-prison-for-profit/. 18
"'The Secret Meeting that Changed Rap Music and Destroyed a Generation.'" Hip Hop Is Read. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://www.hiphopisread.com/2012/04/secret-meeting-that-changed-rap-music.html.
starting their own business19. The two most relevant artistic entrepreneurs of today are Kanye West and Andre Young. Kanye West has successfully started his own fashion line in partnership with APC Paris, directed and starred in major and independent films, such as his short film titled Runaway, collaborated with other artists as a producer and label owner, and worked with a number of luxury fashion designers and labels, such as Louis Vuitton and Giuseppe Zanotti to create clothes and footwear20. Andre Young, also known by his stage name, Dr. Dre, has gone into the world of music technology, where he has been extremely successful in providing music fanatics with new headphones and speakers to enhance the process of listening to and creating music. He has also invested in the education of future music moguls. In the fall of 2014, the University of Southern California will be opening the doors of the Iovine-‐Young Academy, a school where students will gain the knowledge necessary to succeed in the music business as artists, engineers, businessmen, and entrepreneurs. These artists have proven that hip-‐hop is only negative if it is made to be that way; the art form can be used to do great things for their communities and to inspire youth across the world. That is why hip-‐hop has grown into such an immense global market. France is the nation that is home to the second largest market for hip-‐hop in the world, after the United States. Hip-‐hop has become extremely relevant in the lives of French youth, especially in the world of dance. Break dancing has taken France by storm; the country is well known for sending phenomenal teams to the Battle of the Year, the Olympics of breaking. The two most notable dance crews in the country are the Vagabonds and 19 20
ABC News. Accessed April 7, 2014. http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=89840
"How High-Fashion Marginalizes The Black Community." Huffington Post. Video file, 33:29. Posted by Marc Lamont Hill, October
16, 2013. Accessed April 7, 2014. http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/fashion-hip-hop-kanye-kimmel-classism-modelcasting/525840f978c90a26c40004a5.
Pockemon, both of which have won the Battle of the Year on multiple occasions21. French rap music is also taking off and spreading across the world with the most notable hit released in May of 2013: Papoutai, by Stromae. While a large number of global listeners have no idea what is being said in the song, the video took the internet by storm, reaching 140 million views in under a year, almost five times as much as American hip-‐hop legend Jay-‐Z has gained after releasing the video for Holy Grail four months later. Stromae must be doing something right if he has surpassed the hit song of someone who many hip-‐hop heads consider untouchable. The question is: what? Thousands, if not millions, of young artists are working this very minute, hustling, trying to get their break in the music industry, but how exactly do they do that? What steps go into being discovered and given a chance at fame? I interviewed a former Head-‐Royce sophomore in the class of 2016 to track down my answer. Alex Newell and his band, Black Bones, have just sealed a recording deal and are currently working on their debut album. While they are still working on a small-‐scale level and are not necessarily looking to break into the hip-‐hop industry, what they have achieved is worthy of notice because of the amount of time, talent, and dedication required to be discovered. I asked him what he did to reach the level he is at now and this was his response: “I was really just being prolific with my song writing. Just constantly coming up with new creations. I used the powers of the internet to get myself out there and also just playing a lot of shows and seeing a lot of faces. You never know who could be watching your show.22” While his answer was modest and seemed self-‐evident, it resonates and as a musician, 21 "French Break-Dance Scene." Streets United (blog). Accessed May 9, 2014. http://streets-united.com/blog/french-break-dancescene/. 22 Newell, Alexander. Interview by the author. April 8, 2014.
myself, I see the truth behind what he says, especially in his last phrase about who is paying attention at your show. The industry is all about who you know, and if you have no one on the inside, you have no way inside. As an avid follower of Alex’s music, I know for a fact that he is always working. If he’s not with his band, he is at home producing music; at one point in time he was putting out a new song every other day. Manager of DB2 and Najee the 1, and professor at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, Marat Berenstein, reinforces this idea. He said that if you really want to get your big break, you have to start small and create an online presence. “Build your foundation first and enable everyone, from fans to the industry, to come to you. To discover you. To enter your world and play in your universe, so to say. Create this environment using social media, but use it correctly. Each platform has its own set of rules and there is no one size that fits all. Use Instagram, Tumblr to curate the visual, SoundCloud to post music, and Twitter to spread the word and network. Craft your own personal brand and make it unique. Have style. Don't go for the same blogs and sites everyone else is going for. Find your own angle and connect with other like-‐minded artists/creatives. Develop a live show and work on that just as much as you work on your online presence23.” This online presence helps artists to build up a following of people. Since hip-‐hop is “the toughest genre of the entire music business,” there is no way to succeed without a proper support group, also known as fans. When I studied with Marat at New York University this past summer, this is what he taught me, and I have gone straight to work building up my network. If you have a fan base, there is no way that labels can ignore you. This proved to be true after my favorite artist, Logic, was signed to Def Jam in 2013. He had already been on a world tour and multiple tours around 23
Berenstein, Marat. Interview by the author. April 8, 2014
the country, and had huge global fan base. Going on tour across the world is something that takes massive amounts of money, and he spent almost his entire signing bonus making the tour possible creating merchandise, and establishing relationships with his fans across the globe. This business model, in my opinion, is the most successful one that I have ever come across. Focusing on building up his fan base has rocketed him to fame, and addition to being signed to a major label, Logic’s contract grants him 100% creative freedom and allows him to keep the team of producers, Dj’s, and other artists he has put together over the past six years. As a result of Logic’s dedication to the preservation of his music, his fan network, which he calls the Rattpack, is one of the most dedicated and loyal fan groups that I have ever heard of, let alone been a part of. If I could achieve a fan base that seriously believed in what I was doing, I will have found true happiness. Ever since I was first introduced to the great culture that is hip-‐hop, I have read, listened to, and internalized every piece of information related to the history and development of the genre, in my attempt to become an expert on this industry, and though I have been doing this for almost a decade, I have so much more to learn. The hip-‐hop industry is complex, with multiple hidden layers in management, music creation, marketing, publication, law, and more. It takes hustle, connections, determination, and experience to survive in the world of hip-‐hop, but most of all, one has to study the field to enter the playing field. I plan on finding my path in the world of hip-‐hop music as a producer and entrepreneur, and understanding how the hip-‐hop industry has evolved to where it is today is essential for my success. I have spent the last four years of my life learning the art of production, expanding my knowledge of music theory, and networking with industry professionals, but I never really took the time to sit down and study the
world I was hoping to enter. Now that I have all of this information, I am much more prepared to embark on my journey into the global music community. Bibliography ABC News. Accessed April 7, 2014. http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=89840. I found this article, from Forbes, but posted on ABC News when searching about the evolution of the hip hop business. The industry started off small scale, but now artists have started multiple different business ventures and pair up with bigger conglomerates to make more money.
The Ascent of Electronic Music. Photograph. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://www.aux.tv/wpcontent/uploads/2014/01/Screen-Shot-2014-01-30-at-11.28.52-AM.png.
Berenstein, Marat. Interview by the author. April 8, 2014. Interview conducted by email. Questions are being drafted and will be sent within the next two days. Marat is an artist manager and instructor at the NYU Clive Davis Institute for Recorded Music. He was one of my instructors this summer at NYU
"Breakdancing with Mr.Fresh & The Supreme Rockers." Global Darkeness. Last modified 2002. Accessed March 10, 2014. http://www.globaldarkness.com/articles/history%20of%20breaking.htm. I found this article while researching how breaking was a part of hip hop culture. It helped me to understand how dancing started political movements that created a voice for the African-American communities in the Bronx Projects, and gave them a way to share their opinions without leading to violence.
D, Davey. "The Facts About Hip Hop and Prison Profit." Davey D's Hip Hop Corner. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2013/04/24/jailhouse-roc-the-facts-about-hiphop-and-prison-for-profit/. This article shows the relationship between music labels/ media conglomerates and the corporate prison industry.
DJ Kool Herc Back to School Party Invitation. Photograph. BBC. Accessed March 10, 2014. http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/wwfeatures/624_351/images/live/p0/1d/wg/p01dwgjw.jpg. I found this invitation when researching the roots of hip hop music. This is an invitation to the party where hip hop was first born and it shows the use of graffiti to promote hip hop music.
Drissel, David. Hip-Hop Hybridity for a Glocalized World: African andMuslim Diasporic Discourses in French Rap Music. Champaign, IL: Common Ground Publishing LLC, 2009. France is the number 2 market for hip hop and 5 for music -Most hip hop artists in France are descended from African-Americans I found this book while researching what countries represented the biggest hip hop markets, and this helped to explain the expansion into more traditional African roots and culture
Element, Kevin. "Hard Hitting Modern Perspective on Hip Hop Graffiti." Graffiti.org. Last modified 1996. Accessed March 10, 2014. http://www.graffiti.org/faq/element.html. I wanted to study all four pillars of Hip Hop culture, because there is more to the movement than just music. Graffiti is probably the first aspect of Hip Hop culture to emerge in America, and has been very controversial in debates on whether or not its art or vandalism. This article will help me understand how graffiti showed up and the role it plays in Hip Hop culture
Flores, Lucien J. "Hip Hop is For Everybody: Examining the Roots and Growth of Hip Hop." Student Pulse: The International Student Journal, 1-2. This article was useful in determining the demographics of hip hop supporters and finding out more about the global market of hip hop in other countries. I found this article while researching the demographics of hip hop on Google.
Forman, Murray. "Talking hip hop as a global medium of expression." Northeastern. Last modified August 11, 2010. Accessed April 7, 2014. http://www.northeastern.edu/news/2010/08/hip-hop/.
I found this source by searching up the authors of one of the books I was recommended. This article talks about the expansion of hip hop across the globe and how hip hop should be integrated into global culture education.
"French Break-Dance Scene." Streets United (blog). Accessed May 9, 2014. http://streetsunited.com/blog/french-break-dance-scene/. This blogpost describes the French hip hop and breakdancing scene.
Grand Master Flash and The Furious Five. "The Message Lyrics." Rap Genius. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://rapgenius.com/Grandmaster-flash-and-the-furious-five-the-message-lyrics.
"History of New York (1978- Present)." Wikipedia. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_New_York_City_(1978–present). Explanation of racial tension in the 1980's in New York
"How High-Fashion Marginalizes The Black Community." Huffington Post. Video file, 33:29. Posted by Marc Lamont Hill, October 16, 2013. Accessed April 7, 2014. http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/fashion-hip-hop-kanye-kimmel-classism-modelcasting/525840f978c90a26c40004a5. This video was useful in understanding the marginalization of black Hip Hop artists in the fashion industry and how, though hip hop is constantly promoting fashion companies like Versace and, even now, Tom Ford, they refuse to work with the artists and just take the free promotion. I found this source while researching the different branches of the hip hop industry, specifically fashion.
Laurence, Rebecca. "40 Years on from the Party Where Hip Hop Was Born." BBC. Last modified August 9, 2013. Accessed March 5, 2014. http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20130809-the-party-where-hip-hop-was-born. I also found this article by searching up the history of hip hop on Google. What was useful about this article is that it gives more historical context regarding Kool Herc's back to school party where hip hop music was created. It also provides a place to start looking for the emergence of general hip hop culture as it gives us a glimpse into the four elements that make up the culture: Dj'ing, graffiti, music, and dance.
"Market Share by Label Ownership Picture." http://a2im.org/files/2013/01/LOGO_MktShrByLblOwnership1.JPG.
Newell, Alexander. Interview by the author. April 8, 2014. I am drafting interview questions to be sent to Alex. These questions would be about his journey and the work he put into being signed as an artist, and his experience as a music producer while signed as part of a band.
PBS. Last modified 2006. Accessed March 6, 2014. http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/hiphop/about_hiphop.htm. This article was found by searching "PBS mysteries: hip hop" on Google. I had found that PBS had some pretty informative articles and interviews on the culture of hip hop, so
I decided to stay on that path. I came across this timeline, which shows the evolution of hip hop from Kool Herc's party to present day, and even mentions an album that was a potential precursor to Kool Herc's party.
Reyes, Elvin, MC Greg Nice, Curtis Sherrod, DJ Silva-Sirfa, Mark Naison, and Dr. Marcyliena Morgan. Interview by Tufuku Zuberi. Http://wwwtc.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/static/media/transcripts/2011-05-21/611_hiphop.pdf. 2008. I found this interview by searching "the history of hip hop" on Google. I had to do some digging before I found this transcript on the PBS history detectives website, but it was a very interesting interview with different input from professionals in the hip hop industry. This article allowed me to trace back the roots of hip hop music to a back to school party in the South Bronx. I now have a location and time period to start looking for the emergence of hip hop culture, and an original source to compare modern day hip hop to.
"The Roots of Hip Hop." RM Hip Hop Magazine. http://www.globaldarkness.com/articles/roots_of_hiphop.htm This article was also found by looking up the history of hip hop music on Google. This article was particularly helpful because it goes back to before Hip Hop originated, to the cultural influences and historical events that led to the creation of the culture. It talks about not only the emergence of hip hop music, but the other elements such as breakdancing and DJ'ing.
Rosenthal, Jeff. "The 10 Wildest Rap Beefs of All Time." The Rolling Stone. Last modified August 15, 2013. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/the-10-wildest-rap-beefs-ofall-time-20130815.
Ruderman, Zoe. "92 Percent of Top Songs About Sex." Cosmopolitan. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://www.cosmopolitan.com/celebrity/news/92-percent-songs-in-billboard-top-100about-sex.
"'The Secret Meeting that Changed Rap Music and Destroyed a Generation.'" Hip Hop Is Read. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://www.hiphopisread.com/2012/04/secret-meeting-thatchanged-rap-music.html. The anonymous letter that introduced the world to a hip hop conspiracy involving investing in private prisons and controlling rap music to promote prison culture.
The Tanning of America. VH1. February 24, 2014. Hosted by Steve Stoute. I found this source through Twitter. I had the chance to meet Steve Stoute while attending New York University this summer, and since then I have followed him on Twitter. In the past couple of weeks he was especially active in advertising his latest television series: The Tanning of America. I believe that this short television series will help me in understanding the development of hip hop culture as it has become a major influence in American pop culture. From what I have watched so far in the first episode, film played a large role in the advancement of color people and the promotion of Black Hip Hip culture.
Tapper, Jake, and Marie Nelson. "Is corporate America to blame for hip hop violence." ABC News. Last modified April 22, 2005. Accessed April 8, 2014. http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/News/story?id=694982. This article gave me information about how record labels "glamorize" violence and the gangster image of hip hop. It focuses in on instances where Reverend Al Sharpton has voiced his opinions about how hip hop needs to move away from thug culture and even mentions that the government should be involved in censoring music so as to promote a better image of the genre.
"Warner Music Group." Wikipedia. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warner_Music_Group#History.
Watkins, Samuel Craig. Hip Hop Matters: Politics, Pop Culture, and the Struggle for the Soul of a Movement. Boston: Beacon Press, 2005. Ms. Goglio brought this book to my attention, and I have taken every free moment I have to bury my nose in it. The book tells of the birth of hip hop music and culture, and the effects that the movement has had on both African-American culture, and the greater American culture.
Young, Damon. "2012: The Year of the Ratchet." Ebony. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://www.ebony.com/entertainment-culture/2012-year-of-the-ratchet.
Online Learning: The Future of Women’s Education in Saudi Arabia By Pippa O’Brien
Abstract We made a promise in the final journal write of Islam class to find a way to help the people in the Islamic world, and my promise was to find a better way to bring education to women, especially in Saudi Arabia. Global Issues was the perfect platform for me to explore my options for supporting women’s education in Saudi Arabia. Through my research I learned about the obstacles women face in their society that make it difficult for them to pursue an education: the government’s regulation of the internet, the traditional woman’s role in the home, the lack of acceptance from their male counterparts in the classroom, and the more limited opportunities women have in the workplace. I was interested in exploring ways that women could overcome these barriers to education, for example online learning. In this paper, I question whether online schooling is a good option to further women’s education in the future? And what are the ways that Saudi Arabian society can more fully incorporate women into the public sphere?
In the last scene of the movie “Wadjda” released in 2013, the title character and her mother are huddled on the roof looking out on a huge tent across the street filled with laughter and music. They both felt neglected. Wadjda is proud of her mother for being a strong woman and angry with herself for being a girl. Wadjda is the reason her father has acquired a new wife: he needs a son in order to have honor. Holding back tears, her mother slips away, and when she returns, Wadjda turns around to find the bike she’s been saving up for. Originally her mother is against the bike, especially since it is considered unladylike in their Saudi Arabian society. But in the end, the mother gives it to her because she wants Wadjda to live a happier life than she herself has endured. This movie really struck a chord with me because Wadjda’s life is so different from my own. While this was not a documentary, there are many women in the Arab world who experience similar injustice. In my own life I am used to being an equal at school. My father is proud of me and that has nothing to do with my gender, and I have the opportunity to choose my own future. Women in the Middle East, for the most part, are trapped in a social and religious rulebook that doesn’t allow them to express themselves or even educate themselves. On the last day of Islam class. My teacher Mr. Scott had us choose an issue from our study of the Middle East and write about how we as students could be a part of the solution. I wrote about how if I had the time and resources I would attempt to bring women education, using the internet as my way of reaching them. When I arrived in the Global Issues research and writing class, I felt like I finally had a platform for carrying out my aspirations from the Islam journal write. This is why I want to look further in to the issue of women’s access to education in the Middle East, specifically women in Saudi Arabia. There are so many factors that will be roadblocks to giving women more equality, but hopefully by understanding the issue better, I can at least be more conscious of the work that can be done to help. Currently, only half of their population in Saudi Arabia is contributing to the educated world, if we can help these women then they could solve all kinds of problems and play even bigger roles in the global community.
Women in the Arab states are known for having fewer rights than their male
counterparts. There is a general stigma around the low status of women in the Middle
East, and rightfully so due to their lack of freedom in society. For decades, it has been thought that women must be separate from men due to the Islamic traditions laid out in the Koran; however, the original texts have been changed over time to control women under Islamic law. Saudi Arabia is known for being one of the most oppressive in terms of women’s rights because its corruption of the Islamic legal code is most pervasive. It is important to note that the women are fighting for rights such as driving privileges, the ability to go places without a male “guardian,” the right to work outside of the home, and of course, access education. There is a difference of opinion on how women should progress because there are many conservatives who want to strictly follow sharia law and cultural norms1. Islam did not start as a religion with misogynistic values; the prophet was actually a feminist for his time. The Islamic FAQ on Equality recalls a point made by the prophet, “The Holy Prophet of Islam knew the essential part women had to play in the development of society, so he laid great stress on the upbringing of girls by saying: ‘A man who has two daughters and brings them up and educates them to the best of his capacity shall be entitled to paradise.’” But through the years people have been able to manipulate and create their own sectors of Islam that actually are misogynistic. There are many events and extreme groups throughout the history of Islam that have brought the Muslim states to where they are today. Taking a look farther into the history and the current situation of women in Saudi Arabia helps to understand the future of women _
there, and especially in the realm of education. Overall literacy rates in Saudi Arabia in total have always been generally good, meaning significantly more than half can read and write. Through the years there has been more balance and literacy between both genders, and that continues to improve year over year. In 2011, the literacy rate for women in Saudi Arabia was 82.2% while the men were at 90.8% out of a total literacy rate of 87.2%. This basically means almost all of the
1 Katherine Zoepf, "Talk of Women's Rights Divides Saudi Arabia," New York Times, last modified May 31, 2010, accessed March 22, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/01/world/middleeast/01ihtsaudi.html?pagewanted=3&_r=0.
people 15 and over can read and write2. It is important to keep in mind, however, that in the Islamic world, most people learn to read and write so they can understand the text of the Koran better. Even if people don’t have formal school training, they might still be literate to the extent that they can read the Koran, if only because their family has taught them. In other words, literacy does not necessarily reflect education or schooling. Islam is not just a religion; it is a way of life. The laws of Islam apply to everyday activities which is more of an incentive for the population to be able to read the Koran. Yet literacy alone does not indicate education, and Saudi Arabia is a good example of a country where access to education for women is limited. Only 57% seek higher education. This limits their social mobility and reinforces their low status. It is wrong to see the struggle for women’s rights and education in Saudi Arabia as one-sided, that all of the women want equality and freedom. To some extent most of the women want the respect of their society, but there are many women who believe the more extreme Sharia laws that state, for example, that they can’t go anywhere or sign any documents without their male guardians. It is important to recognize that there is a dissention in society over whether or not women should be breaking down barriers and becoming more independent1. The movie “Wadjda” was able to shed some light on the restrictions on women in Saudi Arabia. Not only is the young girl, Wadjda, faced with abiding by societal norms for girls, she is also shunned by her father when he gets remarried. This is practice is obviously demoralizing for women and indicative of the problem they face because it reveals women are not valued or honored as individuals. This is not the viewpoint of Mohammed the prophet, but over time Islam has been manipulated the way men want to run their countries. The director of “Wadjda”, who was the first Saudi woman director, actually had to lead her crew from inside a van because it was improper for her to be out working with everyone else. In the interview Haifaa Al Mansour stated, “I came back to work in Saudi in early 2000s, I wanted to assert myself in the workplace and everything and it was hard for me. As a woman, I felt invisible, and it was low point.” Her experience in the Saudi workforce was similar to most women there who wanted to do something other than raise a family. This is a first-hand testament 2 "Literacy," World Factbook, last modified 2011, accessed March 22, 2014, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2103.html.
to the struggle of women. The director did want to point out what life is like in Saudi Arabia, but she also wanted to leave Muslim women feeling empowered instead of trapped. Her struggle reflects the day-to-day hardships of many Saudi women, making her story the perfect example of what it’s like for women trying to follow their desires in Saudi Arabia. Mansour remarked on how she wants to impact the young girls, “when [the girls I went to public school with] were kids, they had so much to offer to the world, but because the world is very - their families and the small society around them is very limiting. They gave up so much. And I wanted to make a film that tells them that they shouldn't. That they should be true to themselves and continue and embrace their potential. And they - those girls can change the world if they are given the chance and if they believe in themselves”. Her inspirational message is helping to lead women’s rights efforts3. What are the main obstacles that Saudi women encounter when they seek education? There are many roadblocks that make education for women in Saudi Arabia difficult, (you could detail some here before launching into online learning) especially online. Internet penetration in Saudi Arabia is policed by the government, which means that they restrict the sites that their citizens can use. Most of the regulations are in place to stop political demonstrations and filter out western ideals that might influence their population in a negative way. They also deny access to human rights websites. Even though Saudi Arabia has an extensive and obvious control over the internet, they do not openly display the list of banned sites. This being said, the educational system online that women can access is run by the Saudi government. While this doesn’t seem like a huge issue, there is a risk that the education the women are receiving could be below international standards, or skewed to fit the ideals of the kingdom. The kingdom actually sponsors the news outlets which gives them power over what content is relayed to the public4. One of the Saudi Princesses, Ameerah Al-Taweel, brought up women’s rights in Saudi Arabia at the Clinton Global Initiative. A striking statistic she shared was that 3 Haifaa Al Mansour, interview by Michel Martin, Tell Me More, National Public Radio, September 12, 2013. 4
"Saudi Arabia," Freedom House, last modified 2012, accessed April 7, 2014, http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-net/2012/saudi-arabia#.U0ONh15BYdJ.
women make up 57% of the college graduates in Saudi Arabia, but they merely make up 15% of the workforce. She commented on what needs to happen in order for women’s rights to move forward, and one of her main arguments besides written civil rights for Saudi women was for the implementation of NGO’s5. Unfortunately, NGO’s are banned in Saudi Arabia. Ironically, all NGO’s must be approved by the Saudi government, which kind of defeats the point of a non-governmental organization. They have countless laws and regulations for any NGO that wants to be present in Saudi Arabia, which makes it virtually impossible to implement them6 There are ways to get around that, such as the use of change.org and other petition sites which can act as virtual NGO’s. Change.org has been active in the movement to help women in Saudi Arabia receive the right to drive. Through this website, people can sign a petition online and show their support for a cause. In this case, not only are the Saudi women able to compile all of their efforts but they can gain support on a global scale. However, the one caveat to the success of online petitions is the close surveillance of the Saudi government on the internet. They can ban any sites that people try to use for political reforms or campaigns. Basically, the use of this could lead to the improvements of women’s rights but they will have to be executed under the radar of the kingdom.
http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedomnet/2012/saudiarabia#.U20EIF5P4dK This graph depicts the internet penetration and restrictions on the internet in Saudi A. Dolan, "Saudi Princess Ameerah Speaks out for Saudi Women's Rights, Again," Forbes, last modified October 9, 2012, accessed April 7, 2014, http://www.forbes.com/sites/kerryadolan/2012/10/09/saudi-princess-ameerah-speaks-outfor-saudi-womens-rights-again/ 6 "NGO Law Monitor: Saudi Arabia," The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, last modified February 14, 2014, accessed April 7, 2014, http://www.icnl.org/research/monitor/saudiarabia.html. 5 Kerry
Arabia. This site determines whether or not there is freedom on the internet, and clearly Saudi Arabia is not free. Note that 0 means most free and 100 is least free, with Saudi Arabia falling at 71. The issues of access and the process of learning online also pose as obstacles to Saudi Arabian. Often men will have internet access at work and at home, whereas the women only have the chance to use it at home. But it is still not easy for women with a home computer to gain online education since their husbands and children take precedence7. Learning environments are harder for the women to set up because of their duties around the house. When women’s education started becoming more prevalent in Saudi Arabia, there were many conservative families who were worried that there wouldn’t be enough enforcement of the women’s role in the home and taking care of her family. They didn’t want the education of women to lead to a lack of interest in family life. These worries harken back to the strict implementation of Sharia law where women need to have a balance of education and devotion to Islam8. While Sharia law is limiting, it is not misogynistic as explained by the Islamic FAQ on equality, “Women [have] the right of inheritance and accordingly they received their due share as prescribed by the Shariah Law (Islamic Law).” This quote refers to all Muslim female rights to ownership of property. However, the site also fleshes out the nuances involved in the equality of the sexes, “Islam recognizes that such equality does not mean that men and women are the same. It notes their different physical and emotional strengths and in view of this sets out their key roles in life…For example men have been assigned the duty to work and provide for their family and women have been assigned the role of motherhood and of looking after the household.9” This statement is the same sentiment found in most documents surrounding women’s struggle to get an education and simultaneously raise a family. Over the years, Von Prümmer, "Gender Issues and Learning Online," in Using Learning Technologies: International Perspectives on Practices 8 Comparative Education (n.p.: Taylor & Francis, 1991), [Page #], accessed March 22, 2014, 9 "Islamic FAQ on Equality," Al Islam: The Official Website of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, accessed May 9, 2014, http://www.islamicfaq.org/equality/index.html. 7 Christine
the Sharia laws have encompassed more restrictions for women, but they are a result of misinterpretation of the original rules.
On a larger scale, there is a problem with Saudi education that both men and
women have run up against. The kingdom had an abundance of administrative jobs where people could work for the government doing menial tasks in order to make a good living. This means they needed little education. There were enough of these types of jobs to go around, but the people who sought a higher education in a specialized field did not have any job opportunities. As the kingdom grew, it developed a need for specialization. Today, the tables have turned. The Kingdom cannot support its population with only governmental jobs, so they need some specialists. But there aren’t enough students interested or trained in the fields that country is seeking. The lack of specialization has come back to haunt Saudi Arabia10.
There actually is some promise for women in higher education to use
distance learning as their platform. If they can balance their household and their education then it actually can be a great way for them to learn. But the problem with women seeking a higher education after starting a family means that they are already pigeon holed to their societal norms and will have a difficult time breaking out of their household roles to use their education. I was hoping to research the use of online learning for secondary education, helping girls at a younger age which would probably be more helpful in the long run. However, there weren’t any sources that could tell me about high schools online for the girls and whether or not they would have access to them in the first place. This tells me that there is still room for improvement in the Saudi Arabian educational system, especially online. It’s important to note that Saudi’s do have internet and despite the regulations, they are more advanced than other countries that cannot seek education online because they barely have electricity.11 I think that online education is plausible and potentially helpful, but since the kingdom is slow at any kind of reform, it will take a long time 10 Ursula Lindsey, "Saudi Arabia's Education Reforms Emphasize Training for Jobs," The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 3, 2010, 11 Sue Pon, Mrs, telephone interview by the author, Oakland, CA, May 8, 2014.
to get to where it needs to be. Another huge takeaway is that once the women receive the education, they need a society that will allow them to use their knowledge. One of the speakers, Marc Grossman, from the World Affairs Conference during a talk on Pakistan and Afghanistan said that we want the fathers of the girls being educated in the Arab world to be proud of their daughters, and excited that they are going to school. If part of the society is unsupportive then women won’t have a place to use their expertise. Many women end up leaving Saudi Arabia to seek education because they can find work and will be a part of a society that is supportive of women working. Also, there are a lot more civil rights for women and men outside of Saudi Arabia. All this analysis of education is on my mind as I go off to college myself. Understanding the inequalities that young women deal with on a daily basis makes me grateful for my education and the learning opportunities that lie ahead. There are organizations such as The Online School for Girls, which is mostly based in America, but could branch out to give core classes to women across the globe, that I would be interested in working with12. The notion that I can make a difference started as a hopeful journal write, but has now blossomed into an informed desire to help bring education to the Middle East. In the long run, we want education on a high school level to be quality and up to international standards. This will help the young minds of Saudi Arabians to be able to think critically and decide for themselves what is just and fair in the world, overall improving their country as the new generations take on leadership roles.
Bradley, Dr., interview by the author, Head-Royce School, Oakland, CA, May 5, 2014.
Bibliography Aljabre, Abdulaziz. "An Exploration of Distance Learning in Saudi Arabian Universities: Current Practices and Future Possibilities." International Journal of Business, Humanities and Technology 2, no. 2 (March 2012). This is specific to my topic (minus the part where it's about universities) but still it looks at distance learning in Saudi Arabia and the role of women in the online programs. This not only his a wealth of topic specific information, but it focuses on what is working and isn't working in online learning. The author's analysis of societal roles women are pigeon hold to and how education ties in to that is fascinating and helpful. His breakdown of factors that effect the person who is using online education is also great information. Al Mansour, Haifaa. Interview by Michel Martin. Tell Me More. National Public Radio. September 12, 2013. This is an interview of the Director of the movie Wadjda. She talks about how she wanted to portray society in Saudi Arabia. Instead of the women being victims and the men oppressors, she focus's on how everyone in their country is tied down by their conservative and strict society. She wanted to make a movie that left young Saudi's feeling empowered and the global community feeling better educated on what it's like in Saudi Arabia. This is a helpful source because she gives direct quotes on the struggles of women in the Saudi Arabian society and what the mentality for change should be. http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=221738137 this is the link to the transcript of the interview Alsuwaigh, Siham A. "Women in Transition: The Case of Saudi Arabia." Journal of Comparative Family Studies 20, no. 1 (1989). While this article is notably dated (1989!) it is actually really interesting because there are so many aspects about women and education and societal norms that are the same today as they where almost two decades ago. This demonstrates the 1) lack of traction women's reforms have in Saudi Arabia and 2) the sense of urgency surrounding women's rights in the middle east because they have been waiting for too long. The fact that societal honor and placement still are huge roadblocks to equal rights for women means that there needs to be a big social change that won't be easy, but is necessary. Arab Human Development Report of 2005: Towards the Rise of Women in the Arab World. This is similar to the other report on human development, however it focuses in on the topic of women in all the Arab states. I used it to gather more information about how women fit in to the Arab states in the educational and working spheres.
Bradley, Karen, Dr. Interview by the author. Head-Royce School, Oakland, CA. May 5, 2014. I was able to ask Dr.Bradley about her experience teaching through the global online academy and the difficulties and advantages it has. She told me her thoughts on online vs. classroom learning. She also commented on the participation from Arab countries. Comparative Education. N.p.: Taylor & Francis, 1991. Accessed March 22, 2014. https://docs.google.com/a/headroyce.org/file/d/0B_tui2cAX5InbFBSMHpMYjhm NDA/edit. This book talks about the education of women in Saudi Arabia. Not unlike the source from the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Education, it has information regarding the equality that is being strived for in the educational system. It states that while women may be very educated, their role is still to take care of the home. The Concept and Measurement of Human Development. This is the Arab Human Development Report and it is an analysis of the way things are run in Saudi Arabia. From education, to gender issues, to jobs and sanitation, it talks about it all. I used the sections on women's rights and women's roles in education and the job market. "Deputyship for Planning and Information: Women in Higher Education: Saudi Initiatives and Achievements." Ministry of Higher Education. Last modified 2010. Accessed April 7, 2014. http://www.mohe.gov.sa/ar/Ministry/DeputyMinistry-for-Planning-and-Information-affairs/The-General-Administration-ofPlanning/Documents/women_in_higher_edu.pdf. This is probably from a database, but I'm not sure which one Ms.Golio found it on, so I will re-cite it when I find out. This is a report on Saudi Arabian higher education for women. But the twist is that it was compiled by the Saudi Government, which means they are overly celebrating the education of women and claiming to have better academics than the rest of the world. This is fascinating to read against reports of the education of women in Saudi Arabia and how much access they actually have. Dolan, Kerry A. "Saudi Princess Ameerah Speaks out for Saudi Women's Rights, Again." Forbes. Last modified October 9, 2012. Accessed April 7, 2014. http://www.forbes.com/sites/kerryadolan/2012/10/09/saudi-princess-ameerahspeaks-out-for-saudi-womens-rights-again/. One of the Saudi Princesses talks about the struggles of women in the Saudi Arabian society, especially in education and civil rights. She spoke out about the installment of NGO's. There is something brewing for women in Saudi Arabia, but they need to start changing the society around them in order to use their education to their full potential.
"Islamic FAQ on Equality." Al Islam: The Official Website of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Accessed May 9, 2014. http://www.islamicfaq.org/equality/index.html. This outlines the views of Muslims on women and their roles in society. It also talks about the prophet's views on women and education, thus supporting the point that Islam is not misogynistic. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ministry of Education. The Achieved Process in the Field of the Eradication of Illiteracy in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The General Administration for Eradication of Illiteracy Programs. This talks about different aspects of Saudi Arabia but focuses on education. I found it interesting that they state education should be in place for both genders. They supposedly want equality. It does have more focus on the role of Islam within education. Lindsey, Ursula. "Saudi Arabia's Education Reforms Emphasize Training for Jobs." The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 3, 2010. This article is more about jobs and education in Saudi Arabia on a broader scale. It seconds the notion that education does not lead to jobs in Saudi Arabia because the Kingdom has so much money most people just work for the government. There is a cultural norm of taking high paying jobs that need little training. Fortunately, the Saudi's are seeking higher education. Unfortunately, they don't have anywhere to implement that education in Saudi Arabia, and even if they do, the job doesn't pay as well as a government one would. "Literacy." World Factbook. Last modified 2011. Accessed March 22, 2014. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2103.html. This site has all of the literacy rates for the world's countries, Saudi Arabia included. It breaks down male vs. female and general population. This was helpful in understanding what the literacy rate was back in 2011, and gave me the background numbers for my historical summary. "NGO Law Monitor: Saudi Arabia." The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law. Last modified February 14, 2014. Accessed April 7, 2014. http://www.icnl.org/research/monitor/saudiarabia.html. This is a comprehensive list of all the laws on NGO's in Saudi Arabia. It is important to look at in the wake of the Saudi Princess's reforms to have more NGO's to inspire civil rights for women in Saudi Arabia. It is interesting to look at their restrictions on non-profits and lends some insight to what the kingdom's fears may be in embracing NGO's. Pon, Sue, Mrs. Telephone interview by the author. Oakland, CA. May 8, 2014. Sue Pon is Emma Hurlbert's mother. She was the one who set up my senior project, where I am helping adult women learn to speak and write in English. She is an adult education and head of the program at Oakland Family Literacy. I
wanted her perspective on the impact of online learning and why the Middle Eastern women seek education here rather than in their home country. "Saudi Arabia." Freedom House. Last modified 2012. Accessed April 7, 2014. http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-net/2012/saudiarabia#.U0ONh15BYdJ. This article is a compilation of data surrounding the issue of internet penetration in Saudi Arabia. It not only has hard numbers but also gives background and current (isn) information on the state of internet penetration and freedom of usage in Saudi Arabia. This is an imperative for understanding the future of distance learning. Von Prümmer, Christine. "Gender Issues and Learning Online." In Using Learning Technologies: International Perspectives on Practices. This highlighted the nuances in women and online learning. The author specifically talks about the things that are present in women's lives that can hinder their learning on and offline. Also, the author provides graphs to illustrate the differences between men and women in distance learning. (note that I am not positive the book name is what I put down, I only posses the chapter not the book so I have to look further in to it.) Zoepf, Katherine. "Talk of Women's Rights Divides Saudi Arabia." New York Times. Last modified May 31, 2010. Accessed March 22, 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/01/world/middleeast/01ihtsaudi.html?pagewanted=3&_r=0. This article goes in to great detail about different women who are trying to receive more equality for women in Saudi Arabia, as well as talking about the view points of women who don't want to change society. There are two sides to this argument and it is important to recognize both. A lot of the women think that the west in influencing the women who want to see social change, others think it is time for Saudi Arabia to join the rest of the world in giving women their rights. It helped me touch on more topics than just education, such as driving, jobs, guardians, fashion, shariah law, etc.
Asian American Mental Health The Flaw of the “Model Minority”
By: Irene Tran
Abstract: The issue I am addressing is the current state of mental health among the Asian American (AA) population. My personal experience with depression during my sophomore and junior years in high school sparked my interest in the subject because I was particularly reluctant to get professional help. When I learned that in fact many Asian Americans choose to not seek out mental health care when needed, I consulted various sources to explore the causes of the underutilization of mental health treatment among Asian Americans despite them having the highest rates of suicide in particular age groups.
It all began with a feeling. At first, something just seemed off, but putting that feeling into words was nearly impossible. Then everything was off. The smallest things were the biggest deals. Nothing was under control. My closest friends became distant strangers. Before I knew it, I just felt awful. It was as though someone I love dearly just died, but no one was there to comfort me. There was no solid reason for my sadness, and that was frustrating to know. Every time I picked myself up, someone kicked me back down to the ground. My heart and stomach actually hurt. Nothing seemed to go my way. My mind and heart were at war with one another; my heart cried out for help while the voice inside of my head told me that I did not deserve any. In the blink of an eye, everything good in my life was eclipsed by feelings of despair, guilt, and dejection.
Figure 1: A photo I took and edited last year.
Mental health is a pressing issue. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), approximately 43.7 million American adults (or 19.3%) and twenty percent of children suffer from mental illnesses.1 2 In 2008, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that 58.7 percent of adults in the United States with a serious mental
National Institute of Mental Health. "Any Mental Illness (AMI) among Adults." NIMH - Statistics - Any Mental Illness (AMI) among Adults. Accessed March 4, 2014. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/Statistics/1ANYDIS_ADULT.shtml. 2 ———. "Any Disorder Among Children." NIH Statistics - Any Disorder Among Children. Accessed March 4, 2014. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/Statistics/1ANYDIS_CHILD.shtml. 1
illness received mental health treatment.3 The most common mental disorder in the United States is major depressive disorder.4
Major depressive disorder (MDD), or major depression, is a common and serious psychiatric disease that results from a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurobiological influences.5 Symptoms include fatigue, insomnia or excessive sleeping, thoughts of suicide, and feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or worthlessness etc. Approximately 14.8 million of American adults aged 18 years and older are affected by MDD each year.6 Alone, depression is the leading factor of suicide risk and is predicted to increase from fourth to second highest global burden of disease by 2030.7 According to SAMHSA, a majority of people receiving mental health treatment has depression (See Figure 2).3 ———. "Use of Mental Health Services and Treatment Among Adults." NIMH - Statistics - Use of Mental Health Services and Treatment Among Adults. Accessed March 4, 2014. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/Statistics/ 3USE_MT_ADULT.shtml. 4 Williams, Zachary. "10 Most Common Psychological Disorders in America." https://learni.st/users/zachary.williams.777/boards/ 3963-10-most-common-psychological-disorders-in-america. Accessed March 4, 2014. https://learni.st/users/zachary.williams.777/boards/ 3963-10-most-common-psychological-disorders-in-america. 5 Sullivan, Patrick F., and Michale C. Neale. "Genetic Epidemiology of Major Depression: Review and Meta-Analysis." The American Journal of Psychiatry 157, no. 10 (October 1, 2000): 1552-62. 6 National Institute of Mental Health. "The Numbers Count: Mental Disorders in America." NIMH The Numbers Count: Mental Disorders in America. Accessed March 4, 2014. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/ the-numbers-count-mental-disorders-in-america/index.shtml. 7 Chen, Hong-xia, Zeng-liang Jin, Li-ming Zhang, Rui Xue, Xiao-dan Xu, Nan Zhao, Zhi-kun Qiu, Xian-wang Wang, You-zhi Zhang, and Ri-fang Yang. "Antidepressant-Like Activity of YL-0919: A Novel Combined Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor and 5-HT1A Receptor Agonist." PLoS One 8, no. 12 (2013). 3
Figure 2: Graphs of the percent of people who receive mental health treatment have depression. 8 I was part of the 74.2% of females who received mental health treatment for depression. It was not an easy road for me to get that treatment, however. In fact, I was reluctant to attend therapy sessions until I was given an ultimatum: either I see a therapist weekly or I will no longer be able to attend Head-Royce. When asked why I refused to see a therapist, I made up excuse after excuse. It was simply something I felt I could not do because my family would find out about my mental health issues, though I did not quite understand why that would be such a bad thing at that time. All I knew was that mental health was not something I could talk about with my family, which only made matters worse because I felt guilty about hiding such a big secret from my family. It was Service Use/Treatment Among U.S. Adults with Depression by Sex and Age. Image. NSDUH-data-Depression_ServiceUse_Adults-Variables-FINAL-490.jpg. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/Statistics/images/ NSDUH-data-Depression_ServiceUse_Adults-Variables-FINAL-490.jpg.
practically shameful to admit to having depression. I was, after all, part of the “model minority.” However, I soon learned that the term “model minority” does not apply to Asian Americans when discussing mental health.
According to former Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher, minorities in the United States “suffer a disproportionate burden of mental illness”.9 In fact, Dr. Satcher suggests that minorities are overrepresented among those most vulnerable and in need of mental health treatment.11 More specifically, Asian Americans, a minority whose elderly population is expected to grow 199% by 2030, rarely use mental health services.10 11 While some data suggest that Asian Americans are less likely to develop mental health issues, the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS) reports that Asian Americans do not tend to seek out emotional or mental help as much as white Americans do, regardless of gender, age, and geographic location, which likely accounts for the seemingly low mental health prevalence rates among the Asian American population.12 13 14
A study led by Loyola Marymount University in 2007 found that less than 9% of Asian
Goode, Erica. "Disparities Seen In Mental Care For Minorities." Disparities Seen In Mental Care For Minorities - New York Times. Last modified August 21, 2001. Accessed April 7, 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/27/us/ disparities-seen-in-mental-care-for-minorities.html. 10 Sorkin, Dara H., and Hannah Nguyen. "Assessing the Mental Health Needs and Barriers to Care Among a Diverse Sample of Asian American Older Adults." Journal of General Internal Medicine 26, no. 6 (June 2011): 595-602. 11 Herrick, CA. "Underutilization of mental health services by Asian-Americans residing in the United States." Abstract. Issues in Mental Health Nursing 19, no. 3 (May/June 1998): 225-40. 12 Meyers, Laurie. "Asian-American mental health." American Psychological Association, February 2006, 44. 13 Lu, Francis G. "The poor mental health care of Asian Americans." Western Journal of Medicine 176, no. 4 (September 2002): 224. 14 Sue, S., JK Cheng Yan, and CS Saad. "Asian American mental health: a call to action." The American psychologist. 67, no. 7 (October 2012). Abstract. 9
Americans seek mental health services, compared to 18% of Americans.15 Preliminary studies show that approximately 20% of Japanese American and 29% of Chinese American elders have some degree of depression, compared to the 6.7% of American adults.6 12
More than four decades ago, Jeannie Wong emigrated from Hong Kong and ultimately sank into depression as a result of the abuse from her ex-husband, disconnection from her two sons, feelings of isolation, and lack of support during the rough patches in her life.17 Unfortunately, because of her mental disorder, she “wanted to just walk across the street and be hit by a car, but finally [she] didn’t have the courage to do it.”17 This is not uncommon among elderly Asian American women, as they had the highest suicide rate of any other ethnic group in that age bracket between 2004 and 3007 with 6.5 suicides per 100,000 people.17 However, suicide is not uncommon among young Asian Americans.
On April 16th, 2007, a South Korean undergraduate student at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Seung-Hui Cho, murdered 32 people and wounded 17 others before taking his own life.16 The former president of the Asian American Psychological Association, Alvin Alvarez, stated that Cho’s behavior is
Lee, Stephanie M. "Asian Americans struggle with suicide." Asian Americans struggle with suicide - SFGate. Last modified January 24, 2013. Accessed April 7, 2014. 16 Effron, Lauren. "Mass School Shootings: A History." Mass School Shootings: A History - ABC News. Last modified December 14, 2012. Accessed April 20, 2014. http://abcnews.go.com/US/mass-school-shootings-history/ story?id=17975571. 15
“representative of mental illness”.17 In December of 2005, Cho was admitted overnight to Carilion St. Albans hospital after his roommate became concerned when Cho threatened to commit suicide.18 While Cho had access to mental health services from Virginia Tech as well as therapists that are not associated with the school, he did not fully take utilize these services and refused to attend therapy sessions.20
Why did Seung-Hui Cho and I both choose to not receive help even though we both had access to it? In 2002, Kramer et al. reported several components of the Asian American culture that may have an effect on the diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses in this population: language, level of acculturation, age, gender, family structure, and intergenerational issues etc.19 All of these issues can result in an increased level of stress, which greatly increases the chances of developing mental disorders.
To better understand the effects of stress on the likelihood of developing mental disorders, one must first understand the neurobiological effects of stress in humans. Normally, in response to stress, the hypothalamus releases corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) to the anterior pituitary gland, which then secretes adrenocorticotropic 17 Benson, Heidi. "Asians less likely to seek therapy / Complex questions in wake of killings." Asians less likely to seek therapy / Complex questions in wake of killings - SFGate. Last modified April 20, 2007. Accessed April 7, 2014. http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/ Asians-less-likely-to-seek-therapy-Complex-2575880.php. 18 Friedman, Emily. "Va. Tech Shooter Seung-Hui Cho's Mental Health Records Released." Va. Tech Shooter Seung-Hui Cho's Mental Health Records Released - ABC News. Last modified August 19, 2009. Accessed April 20, 2014. http://abcnews.go.com/US/seung-hui-chos-mental-health-records-released/ story?id=8278195&singlePage=true. 19 Kramer, Elizabeth J., Kenny Kwong, and Evelyn Lee. "Cultural factors influencing the mental health of Asian Americans." Western Journal of Medicine 176, no. 4 (September 2002): 227-31.
hormone (ACTH) to the adrenal cortex, which emits cortisol (a glucocorticoid) (See Figure 3).20 Cortisol binds to the glucocorticoid receptors (GR) on the hippocampus, which inhibit the release of CRH to regulate the amount of cortisol in the body.22 Too much stress leads to chronic hyperactivity in these glands and ultimately hypercortisolism (a condition where one has too much cortisol in the body), which is linked to dysregulation of serotonin secretion.21 Having serotonin levels that are too low has been widely accepted as one of the main causes of depression. In 2001, Pariente et al. found that the function and expression of GR is reduced in patients with major depression, which would result in an increase in cortisol levels in the brain.22 According to Pariente et al., this is because reduced sensitivity to the inhibitory effects of the glucocorticoid receptors is a primary feature of HPA axis hyperactivity.22
Bear, Mark F. Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain. 3rd ed. N.p.: LWW, 2006. 21 Hernandez, María Eugenia, Danelia Mendieta, Mayra Pérez-Tapia, Rafael Bojalil, Iris Estrada-Garcia, and Sergio Estrada-Parra. "Effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and immunomodulator on cytokines levels: an alternative therapy for patients with major depressive disorder." Clinical and Developmental Immunology. 22 Pariente, CM. "Glucocorticoid receptors in major depression: relevance to pathophysiology and treatment." Biological Psychiatry 49, no. 5 (March 201): 391-404. 20
Figure 3: The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis controls the secretion of cortisol in the body in response to stress.23
Animals injected with CRH into their brains developed behaviors that are similar to those of individuals with major depression: insomnia, decreased appetite, and decreased sex drive.22 Additionally, Krahn et al. showed that a persistent elevation of CRH caused a syndrome similar to anorexia nervosa.24 In a study conducted by Gold et al. in 1986, they found that anorexic patients had marked hypercortisolism.25 However, 23 Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis. Image. What is the HPA axis? http://www.montana.edu/wwwai/imsd/alcohol/Vanessa/vwhpa_files/image003.jpg. 24 Hasan, Tasneem Fatima. "Anorexia nervosa: a unified neurological perspective." International Journal of Medical Sciences 8, no. 8 (2011): 679-703. 25 Gold, P. W., H. Gwirtsman, P. C. Avgerinos, L. K. Nieman, W. T. Gallucci, W. Kaye, D. Jimerson, M. Ebert, and R. Rittmaster. "Abnormal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal function in anorexia nervosa.
three to four weeks after their body weight had been restored to normal, their cortisol levels normalized.26 Both of these studies suggest that increased levels of CRF in the brain lead to depression and anorexia nervosa. The amount of CRF in the brain is directly related to cortisol levels, which is directly correlated to the amount of stress in an individual. Simply put, too much stress can lead to affective and eating disorders.
Asian Americans endure a disproportionate amount of stress in their lives, putting them at a particularly high risk of developing mental health issues, yet they are the most reluctant group of people to seek out treatment because of the aforementioned components of the Asian American culture. To begin, in many Asian households, English is a foreign language, and this language barrier is perhaps the most significant contributing factor to the lack of access to and utilization of treatment.21 According to the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, more than 40 percent of Chinese American, Vietnamese American, and Korean American households are linguistically isolated, meaning no one in the household aged fourteen years or older speaks English well.21 In a phone interview, Marla Lev, a Caucasian therapist in the Bay Area, told me that she has only had two Asian patients over the course of her more than twenty years of practice, which she believes is because of the language barrier.26 Thus, it is imperative that there are a sufficient number of bilingual mental health professionals. However, with such a limited number of mental health
Pathophysiologic mechanisms in underweight and weight-corrected patients." Abstract. The New England Journal of Medicine 314, no. 21 (May 22, 1986): 1335-42. 26
Lev, Marla. Interview by the author. CA. April 24, 2014.
professionals who are fluent in at least one Asian language, removing this barrier for many Asian Americans can be understandingly difficult.
Moreover, the opposing gender roles of Asian American women place them at a particularly high risk for the development of psychiatric disorders.21 The more traditional role for women is to be especially submissive toward their husband, whereas the American culture places an emphasis on independent thinking, achievement, and selfsufficiency.21 Finding a balance between these two cultures creates stress, which ultimately contributes to the 96.3% increase in completed suicide rates in Asian American females from 2000 to 2009.27 Furthermore, many Asian Americans are raised in a traditionally Asian household, but have a lot of exposure to the American culture. According to Dr. Anna Lau, this culture clash can lead to stress, conflict, and confusion in the family.14 This conflict in values can pave the way for several alarming outcomes: stress in teenagers that may lead to withdrawal and ultimately depression, spousal conflict, and low self-esteem that can cause Asian Americans to refuse psychiatric treatment.14 When I spoke to a Asian American teenager who asked to remain anonymous, this person admitted to feeling a lot of stress and confusion in the early teens trying to find the balance between the two cultures and ultimately seeking out mental health care because those feelings culminated into depression, anxiety, and bulimia.28 Additionally, this culture clash may make way for a rarely discussed and acknowledged issue among the Asian American population: domestic and/or interpersonal violence.14 27 Hyeouk, Hahm, Ph.D., LCSW, Jisun Jang, M.A., Cecilia Vu, B.A., L. Melissa Alexander, B.A., and Kelsie E. Driscoll, B.A. "Drug use and suicidality among Asian American women who are children of immigrants." Substance Use & Misuse 48, no. 14 (December 2013): 1563-78. 28 Anonymous. Interview by the author. CA. April 26, 2014.
Data show that Asian Americans who are born in the U.S are more likely to commit or be a victim of domestic violence.14
With so many factors that can lead to the lack of diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues in Asian Americans, how does one go about improving this troubling situation? Former Surgeon General David Satcher suggests integrating mental health into primary care so that more Asian Americans can be properly diagnosed and treated for mental illnesses that can create many devastating effects in their lives.4
While much effort has been put in thus far to improve the state of mental health treatment for Asian Americans, there is still much more work to be done to resolve this issue. Several clinics and organizations have been leading the way by working toward increasing the utilization of mental health services among Asian Americans. For example, Community Health for Asian Americans (CHAA) works to provide community-driven behavioral health services to underserved Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities in the Bay Area.29 Asian Health Services provide health care services to the Asian and Pacific Island community regardless of language, culture, income, insurance status, and immigration status.30 However, with the Asian American population expected to rise drastically, there needs to be a greater movement and more work towards bridging this gap in mental health for Asian Americans, particularly in the rest of the United States. CHAA. "About CHAA." About CHAA. http://www.chaaweb.org/about/history. 30 Asian Health Services - About Us. http://www.asianhealthservices.org/ handler.php?p=about. 29
Cited Sources: 1. Anonymous. Interview by the author. CA. April 26, 2014. 2. Asian Health Services - About Us. http://www.asianhealthservices.org/ handler.php?p=about. 3. Bear, Mark F. Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain. 3rd ed. N.p.: LWW, 2006. 4. Benson, Heidi. "Asians less likely to seek therapy / Complex questions in wake of killings." Asians less likely to seek therapy / Complex questions in wake of killings - SFGate. Last modified April 20, 2007. Accessed April 7, 2014. http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/ Asians-less-likely-to-seek-therapy-Complex-2575880.php. 5. CHAA. "About CHAA." About CHAA. http://www.chaaweb.org/about/history. 6. Chen, Hong-xia, Zeng-liang Jin, Li-ming Zhang, Rui Xue, Xiao-dan Xu, Nan Zhao, Zhi-kun Qiu, Xian-wang Wang, You-zhi Zhang, and Ri-fang Yang. "Antidepressant-Like Activity of YL-0919: A Novel Combined Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor and 5-HT1A Receptor Agonist." PLoS One 8, no. 12 (2013). 7. Effron, Lauren. "Mass School Shootings: A History." Mass School Shootings: A History - ABC News. Last modified December 14, 2012. Accessed April 20, 2014. http://abcnews.go.com/US/mass-school-shootings-history/ story?id=17975571. 8. Friedman, Emily. "Va. Tech Shooter Seung-Hui Cho's Mental Health Records Released." Va. Tech Shooter Seung-Hui Cho's Mental Health Records Released - ABC News. Last modified August 19, 2009. Accessed April 20, 2014. http://abcnews.go.com/US/seung-hui-chos-mental-health-records-released/ story?id=8278195&singlePage=true. 9. Gold, P. W., H. Gwirtsman, P. C. Avgerinos, L. K. Nieman, W. T. Gallucci, W. Kaye, D. Jimerson, M. Ebert, and R. Rittmaster. "Abnormal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal function in anorexia nervosa. Pathophysiologic mechanisms in underweight and weight-corrected patients." Abstract. The New England Journal of Medicine 314, no. 21 (May 22, 1986): 1335-42. 10. Goode, Erica. "Disparities Seen In Mental Care For Minorities." Disparities Seen In Mental Care For Minorities - New York Times. Last modified August 21, 2001. Accessed April 7, 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/27/us/ disparities-seen-in-mental-care-for-minorities.html.
11. Hasan, Tasneem Fatima. "Anorexia nervosa: a unified neurological perspective." International Journal of Medical Sciences 8, no. 8 (2011): 679-703. 12. Hernandez, MarĂa Eugenia, Danelia Mendieta, Mayra PĂŠrez-Tapia, Rafael Bojalil, Iris Estrada-Garcia, and Sergio Estrada-Parra. "Effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and immunomodulator on cytokines levels: an alternative therapy for patients with major depressive disorder." Clinical and Developmental Immunology. 13. Herrick, CA. "Underutilization of mental health services by Asian-Americans residing in the United States." Abstract. Issues in Mental Health Nursing 19, no. 3 (May/June 1998): 225-40. 14. Hyeouk, Hahm, Ph.D., LCSW, Jisun Jang, M.A., Cecilia Vu, B.A., L. Melissa Alexander, B.A., and Kelsie E. Driscoll, B.A. "Drug use and suicidality among Asian American women who are children of immigrants." Substance Use & Misuse 48, no. 14 (December 2013): 1563-78. 15. Kramer, Elizabeth J., Kenny Kwong, and Evelyn Lee. "Cultural factors influencing the mental health of Asian Americans." Western Journal of Medicine 176, no. 4 (September 2002): 227-31. 16. Lee, Stephanie M. "Asian Americans struggle with suicide." Asian Americans struggle with suicide - SFGate. Last modified January 24, 2013. Accessed April 7, 2014. 17. Lev, Marla. Interview by the author. CA. April 24, 2014. 18. Lu, Francis G. "The poor mental health care of Asian Americans." Western Journal of Medicine 176, no. 4 (September 2002): 224. 19. Meyers, Laurie. "Asian-American mental health." American Psychological Association, February 2006, 44. 20. National Institute of Mental Health. "Any Disorder Among Children." NIH Statistics - Any Disorder Among Children. Accessed March 4, 2014. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/Statistics/1ANYDIS_CHILD.shtml. 21. National Institute of Mental Health. "Any Mental Illness (AMI) among Adults." NIMH - Statistics - Any Mental Illness (AMI) among Adults. Accessed March 4, 2014. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/Statistics/1ANYDIS_ADULT.shtml. 22. National Institute of Mental Health. "The Numbers Count: Mental Disorders in America." NIMH -
The Numbers Count: Mental Disorders in America. Accessed March 4, 2014. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/ the-numbers-count-mental-disorders-in-america/index.shtml. 23. National Institute of Mental Health. "Use of Mental Health Services and Treatment Among Adults." NIMH - Statistics - Use of Mental Health Services and Treatment Among Adults. Accessed March 4, 2014. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/Statistics/ 3USE_MT_ADULT.shtml. 24. Pariente, CM. "Glucocorticoid receptors in major depression: relevance to pathophysiology and treatment." Biological Psychiatry 49, no. 5 (March 201): 391-404. 25. Sorkin, Dara H., and Hannah Nguyen. "Assessing the Mental Health Needs and Barriers to Care Among a Diverse Sample of Asian American Older Adults." Journal of General Internal Medicine 26, no. 6 (June 2011): 595-602. 26. Sue, S., JK Cheng Yan, and CS Saad. "Asian American mental health: a call to action." The American psychologist. 67, no. 7 (October 2012). Abstract. 27. Williams, Zachary. "10 Most Common Psychological Disorders in America." https://learni.st/users/zachary.williams.777/boards/ 3963-10-most-common-psychological-disorders-in-america. Accessed March 4, 2014. https://learni.st/users/zachary.williams.777/boards/ 3963-10-most-common-psychological-disorders-in-america. Images: 1. From the PBS presentation, Tie a Yellow Ribbon, on Asian American women and depression. Photograph. APALA. http://www.apalaweb.org/wp-content/ uploads/2013/06/tieayellowribbon-300x200.jpg. 2. Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis. Image. What is the HPA axis? http://www.montana.edu/wwwai/imsd/alcohol/Vanessa/vwhpa_files/image003.jpg . 3. Service Use/Treatment Among U.S. Adults with Depression by Sex and Age. Image. NSDUH-data-Depression_ServiceUse_Adults-Variables-FINAL-490.jpg. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/Statistics/images/ NSDUH-data-Depression_ServiceUse_Adults-Variables-FINAL-490.jpg.
Haley Land-‐Miller 4/24/14 G-‐Block
Fighting Climate Change: What Cuba Can Teach Us About Finding Sustainable Solutions
Satellite Photo of Cuba. Source: http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view.php?id=64374
Abstract: Through my research, I investigated the environmental history and policy of Cuba as a potential model for sustainability. I start with my personal connection to environmental movements, from Head-‐Royce divestment to the Keystone XL Pipeline protest I attended. I focused on the questions, how do we create change for a more sustainable world? What factors drive environmental movements, and how can political and economic circumstances push people towards solutions? I then look at the state of Cuban ecosystems and the diversity of wildlife, and investigate how the history of the country has impacted its relationship with the environment. Specifically, in what ways have the US Embargo since the 1960’s and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 influenced Cuba’s environment? I focus on the importance of organic urban agriculture, as well as the role of government policy in shaping the current state. Ultimately I ask, what can Cuba teach us about where solutions to climate change will come from in the rest of the world?
“Hey, Obama, we don’t want no pipeline drama!”
A couple hundred people walked ahead and behind me through the streets of
San Francisco as I struggled to carry a heavy picket sign that read “Climate justice NOW!” My classmates and I joined the gathering outside the San Francisco Ferry Building early on a Monday morning to speak up in opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline, a several-‐thousand-‐mile pipeline that, if approved, would carry gallons of tar sands from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico for processing. We were marching in support of 398 students in Washington DC who had been arrested for civil disobedience the week before, after chaining themselves to the White House fence in protest of the pipeline.
I came with a group of students and one teacher from my school, and while
we were waiting for everyone to arrive, we started talking to some of the other protesters about environmental issues and our motivation for being there. A group of Stanford students were wearing little orange squares of felt pinned to their shirts, and they told us that they were part of the Stanford divestment movement.
The movement to divest institutions’ endowments from the fossil fuel
industry was something we were all intimately familiar with. Our two student body presidents Dylan and Thomas initially brought the idea to Head-‐Royce, introducing it during their campaign speech. Since then, our school community had held widespread discussions about whether or not the Board of Trustees should, and would, divest the school’s twenty-‐million dollar endowment from mutual funds that included some investments in the fossil fuel industry. Our senior class included many passionate activists, and, inspired by Thomas and Dylan, many of us had become particularly invested in the movement at Head-‐Royce.
Quote from Christina Figueres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, in an address on divestment at Brown University. Image courtesy of the UNFCCC’s official Facebook page.
The global divestment movement is modeled after a movement in the 1980’s aimed at creating social and economic pressure on South Africa in protest of Apartheid. Universities and cities, including the City and County of San Francisco and the entire University of California, decided not to invest in banks and companies doing business in South Africa in order to pressure the government to enter negotiations about ending Apartheid. This movement was considered to be partially responsible for the abolition of Apartheid in 1991, and inspired several future movements including divestment from the tobacco industry. The goal of the current movement is to create a moral and social imperative to cap the earth’s rise in temperature and take away fossil fuel companies’ social license to devastate the climate. Today, several universities and cities have already committed to divesting from fossil fuels, including the city of San Francisco, and we wanted to make Head-‐ Royce the first secondary school in the country to join the movement.1 1 Peterson, Thomas, and Dylan Carlson. Letter, "Letter to the HRS Board of Trustees," April 15, 2014. Google Document.
Many of my friends and classmates walked beside me as we marched toward
a building that housed offices of TransCanada, the corporation that was building the Keystone XL Pipeline. We chanted, “Hey, Barack, you talk the talk; now walk the walk!” Eventually, we gathered outside the building, and several protesters forced their way inside the building and sat down in front of the entrance before guards blocked it. As we stood outside the glass doors, the protest organizers invited anyone to go up to the front and talk about what made the pipeline an important issue. My classmate Eian spontaneously gave one of the most powerful speeches of the day, declaring, “What makes me want to come out here today is because I feel…that my generation has been labeled as complacent. And I refuse to accept that.”2
As we stood in front of the building, though, I looked around at the small
crowd and wondered, where is everyone? I thought that San Francisco was one of the most climate-‐conscious cities in the country; several cities in the Bay Area have comprehensive compost systems, and we’re known for being “super green”. If the movement was going to happen anywhere, it was going to be here. And yet, when I looked around me, I saw mostly radical activists, and not very many of them at that. Where were the normal people who knew that polluting our world was wrong? I couldn’t help but wonder, could we really create change this way? Does real change come from grass roots movements like divestment, governmental policies, or circumstances that leave us no choice? One thing is for certain, over the past few centuries, human activity has had a profound impact on the world we live in. Massive deforestation, pollution of natural resources and the release of carbon dioxide and other gasses into the atmosphere have led to a shift in the earth’s climate and impacted the lives of every creature on this planet. So far global temperatures have climbed 1 degree Celsius, causing sea levels to rise and weather patterns to shift. The increasing frequency of extreme weather events like drought, floods, blizzards and hurricanes has made it harder to Eian. Speech, Keystone XL Pipeline Protest, San Francisco, CA, March 3, 2014.
grow food in many places, impacting our ability to support our exponentially growing population.3 Poor countries will be less able to adapt to a changing environment, and climate change has the potential to worsen inequality and poverty, impede development, and heighten conflicts over resources in many different parts of the world. Climate experts currently suggest that unless we reduce carbon dioxide emissions, we will face a global temperature rise of 2˚ C, consequences of which would drastically increase the negative impacts of climate change worldwide.4 The biggest international response to the climate crisis comes from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. On December 11, 1997, the Kyoto Protocol was adopted, a set of binding commitments to lowering carbon emissions. The Marrakesh Accords, or rules for the Kyoto Protocol’s implementation were adopted in 2001, and the agreement’s first commitment period was from 2008 to 2012 with 192 Parties involved. In December of 2012, the Parties adopted the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, starting a new commitment period that will last from 2013 to 2020. The Protocol originally provided emission reduction goals based on a country’s economic status and emissions in 1990; for example, more developed countries were assumed to have a greater ability to decrease emissions than poorer countries had. Overall, the treaty called for a 5% decrease in 1990 levels of CO2 emissions, and the Doha Amendment suggested additional cuts. However, the UNFCCC recognizes that even the decreases suggested in current international treaties would not be sufficient to decrease emissions to the level necessary to avoid a 2˚ C rise in global temperatures. 5
3 350.org. "The Science." 350.org. Accessed March 9, 2014. http://350.org/about/science/. 4 McKibben, Bill. "Global Warming's Terrifying New Math." Rolling Stone, July 19, 2012. Accessed April 24, 2014. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math20120719. 5 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Kyoto Protocol. Kyoto, Japan: United Nations, 1997. PDF.
Million of tons of CO2 emissions from 1996-‐2007 by country.6
Map of the world, each country shown proportional to their 2009 carbon emissions. Map created by Benjamin Hennig, Sasi Research Group, University of Sheffeild.
6 Rogers, Simon. "World Carbon Emissions, by Country: Can the Copenhagen Climate Summit Bring These Down?" The Guardian, December 7, 2009. Accessed May 4, 2014.
Clearly, the US has not been a leader in cutting greenhouse emissions since the introduction of the Kyoto Protocol, and we currently have the second highest rate of emissions, behind only China7. Climate activists have been forced to look elsewhere for inspiration and possible solutions to high levels of greenhouse gasses. Many have turned to other countries for promising ideas, and the socialist island of Cuba is a popular example. Because of its singular political history and several severe economic crises, the country has had to adapt to the changing environment in different ways than the rest of the world, and it is often looked to as an example of alternative solutions. For instance, according to teacher Laura Galligan, The Transitions Movement in the Bay Area is “an attempt to build strong, local community bonds among people who are developing the skills, tools…and connections to each other necessary to transition to a world in which economic and environmental crises will become more and more common”8, and this movement is inspired in many ways by Cuban sustainability. In 2007, Cuba’s per capita carbon emissions were at 2.2 tons, as compared to the US’s 19.9 tons7. Cuba is the only country declared to have achieved sustainable development by the World Wildlife Fund9, and the country has one of the most widespread systems of urban organic agriculture in the world.
In 1992, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro gave his perspective on climate change
at the Earth Summit in Rio: “An important biological species – humankind – is at risk of disappearing due to the rapid and progressive elimination of its natural habitat….”10 Through the rest of the speech, Castro pointed to the cultures of capitalism and consumerism in developed nations as the cause of the environmental degradation that the world was facing. As an island and Socialist state cut off from Simon. "World Carbon Emissions, by Country: Can the Copenhagen Climate Summit Bring These Down?" The Guardian, December 7, 2009. Accessed May 4, 2014. 8 Galligan, Laura. Interview by the author. Oakland, CA. May 4, 2014. 9 Hails, Chris, ed. Living Planet Report 2006. Gland, Switzerland: World Wildlife Fund for Nature, 2006. PDF. 10 Castro, Fidel. "Tomorrow Will Be Too Late." Speech presented at Rio Earth Summit, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1992. Responding to Climate Change. 7 Rogers,
American capitalism since 1960, Cuba has had a very unique relationship with the world’s changing climate in the past several decades. In some ways, the country has been positively spared from harmful aspects of globalization by its isolation and unique political history. For example, many Latin American countries like Ecuador have witnessed the extremely detrimental impacts of big oil on their ecosystems, but Cuba’s isolation has sheltered it from these influences. In other areas, the government has proactively worked towards sustainability, creating policies that were by no means accidental. Cuba’s environment is the richest and diverse of any in the region. The country has more than 3000 miles of undeveloped coastline, the largest and most well preserved wetland in Latin America, and more preserved rainforests and reefs than any of the other Caribbean islands11. The Florida Straits, just off the coast of Cuba, hold the most marine biodiversity in the Northern hemisphere. The country’s government has protected 22% of the island’s land in some way, which is one of the highest ratios of environmental protection in the world. 12 Because of its geographic location, Cuba has species from both North and South America, with an extremely high diversity of species. While there are relatively few mammals, reptiles and plants of all sorts thrive. The island holds a hundred different species of palm tree alone. 50% of all plant species and more than 32% of animal species are endemic13: unique to the habitat in which they evolved and are therefore more susceptible to changes in that ecosystem. Many species are extremely distinctive; for example, Cuba houses a tree dwelling rodent, a two-‐foot wide fish-‐eating bat, and the world’s smallest bird and scorpion.14
Daniel, and Orlando Rey Santos. "Protecting Cuba’s Environment: Efforts to Design and Implement Effective Environmental Laws and Policies in Cuba." Cuban Studies 37 (2006): 73-103. 12 Linden, Eugene. "The Nature of Cuba." Smithsonian, May 2003, 94-106. Accessed April 6, 2014. SIRS. 13 Santana, Eduardo C. "Nature Conservation and Sustainable Development in Cuba." Conservation Biology 5, no. 1 (March 1991): 13-16. Accessed April 2, 2014. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2386333. 14 Linden, Eugene. "The Nature of Cuba." 94-106 11 Whittle,
Along with a unique ecosystem, the country has its own set of environmental challenges. Historically, deforestation has been one of the biggest threats to Cuban wildlife; by 1959, sugar cane production had taken over more than 70% of previously forested land, destroying 4.4 million hectares of forest.15 Today, around 76% of the land that could be used for agriculture has some sort of damage from erosion and deforestation. Eleven of the fourteen provinces of Cuba have witnessed deforestation, and desertification is also a problem. 16 However, much progress has been made through a dedicated reforestation effort. Before 1900, 54% of the island’s land was covered in forest; by 1959, this number decreased to 14%.17 Since 1990, the number of forests has been steadily increasing and 655 thousand hectares of forest have been restored.18 Today 27% of the island is forested17. The island’s political history has had a profound impact on the ecosystems in place. Cuba’s many endemic species were first threatened with the arrival of Spanish colonialism and foreign species that came with it. As the country’s industry grew, tobacco and sugar cane plantations took over many species’ natural habitats and water and air pollution increased greatly. However, in the past century, several political events and circumstances have, arguably accidentally, pushed the country to a more sustainable lifestyle. After the 1959 revolution, the Cuban government adopted environmental policies that were not drastically different from those of other countries; however, the socialist country’s economic policy focused more heavily on agriculture than industry, unintentionally sparing the island from a great deal of pollution. In addition, the US Embargo blocked all trade and travel between the two countries, putting a massive strain on the Cuban economy but also protecting the country from the environmental degradation that rapid economic
and Rey Santos. "Protecting Cuba’s Environment” 73-103 16 Chelys. "Deforestation in Cuba and Haiti." Earth Snapshot. Last modified January 18, 2014. Accessed April 23, 2014. http://www.eosnap.com/climatechange/deforestation-in-cuba-and-haiti/. 17 Riera, Lilliam. "In the Midst of an Economic Crisis, Cuba Strengthens Its Environmental Agenda." 18 Rhett A. Buttler. "Cuba Deforestation Rates and Related Forestry Figures." Moongabay. Accessed April 23, 2014. http://rainforests.mongabay.com/. 15 Whittle
development brought to many countries touched by American capitalism and consumerism19. The US Embargo, implemented in 1960, blocked all trade between the US and Cuba. From 1960 to 1991, Cuba was the most significant stronghold of communism and support for the Soviet Union in the Western Hemisphere, and the embargo was justified by worries about national security. The original goal of the embargo was to undermine Fidel Castro’s regime; the past fifty years have proven that while it has done significant economic damage to the country, the embargo has failed in this respect. Furthermore, the embargo gives Castro and his brother a convenient scapegoat for economic problems and poverty of the Cuban people, allowing the Cuban government to avoid taking responsibility for some of its own failures. That said, it is undeniable that the embargo has had a significantly detrimental impact on the Cuban economy and may be rightly to blame for some of the nation’s poverty20. However, Cuba is considered to have one of the highest standards of living of developing nations, with the fifth highest Human Development Index in Latin America and is classified as a middle-‐income country according to 2003 data from the United Nations Development Program21.
19 Educational Broadcasting. "Cuba: The Accidental Eden - A Brief Environmental History." PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. Accessed March 9, 2014. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/cuba-the-accidental-eden/a-briefenvironmental-history/5830/. 20 Griswold, Daniel. "Four Decades of Failure: The U.S. Embargo against Cuba." Speech presented at James A. Baker III Institute Program, Cuba and the United States in the 21st Century, Rice University, Houston, TX, October 12, 2005. Cato Institute. Last modified October 12, 2005. Accessed April 2, 2014. http://www.cato.org/publications/speeches/four-decades-failure-us-embargoagainst-cuba. 21 Hails, Chris, ed. Living Planet Report 2006.
Example of an urban farm in Havana. Part of a photo essay on organopónicos by Noah FriedmanRudovsky in 2012. https://nacla.org/news/2012/10/18/urban-agriculture-cuba-photo-essay
While the Soviet Union lasted, its support helped shield Cuba from the full effects of the US Embargo. However, when the Communist bloc collapsed in 1991, Cuba was thrown into a severe economic depression known as the “Special Period”, sparking a dramatic shift towards organic urban farming22. After the Soviet Union’s collapse, Cuba struggled to immediately adapt to the lack of Soviet oil and food imports. The country lost 80% of its international trade and more than 3.1 million tons of fertilizers were lost23. Hunger became a pressing problem; there was a massive plunge in the per capita calorie intake, decreasing from 2600 Calories per day in late 1980’s to 1000-‐1500 per day in 199324. The situation was only made worse by a tightening of the US Embargo in 1992. Food imports also decreased, so 22 Educational Broadcasting. "Cuba: The Accidental Eden - A Brief Environmental History." 23 Warwick, Hugh. "Cuba's Organic Revolution." Ecologist, December 1999, 457-60. Accessed April 6, 2014. SIRS. 24 Ewing, Ed. "Cuba's Organic Revolution." The Guardian. Last modified April 3, 2008. Accessed April 2, 2014. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2008/apr/04/organics.food.
the country had to find a way to spark a massive increase in its food production with a huge loss in fertilizers and pesticides. Cuba’s population initially responded with the only option they had, and began to garden in every available space, especially in Havana. The state soon got behind the urban farming movement, a sustainable method of food production initiated out of pure necessity, and created an Urban Agriculture Department in the Cuban Ministry of Agriculture. 25 Several different types of gardens and farms sprung up; 25,000 allotments called huertos, or small-‐ scale gardens, and many larger-‐scale organopónicos existed in the city of Havana alone by 1995. Methods of farming changed drastically as well. Oxen took over the jobs of tractors, and worm composting and bio-‐pesticides became staples of farming. In 2002, daily per capita calorie intake had risen back to 260026. Whether the shift was brought about by choice or economic necessity, Cuba’s organic revolution shows a transition to urban organic agriculture is feasible if enough motivation is in place. Critics may wonder, have these sustainable measures been detrimental to economic development or the standard of living in Cuba? Perhaps not: Cuba has been praised for its success with sustainable development, economic progress that exists in harmony with the environment instead of in conflict with it. A 2003 study of human development and ecological footprints conducted by the World Wildlife Fund declared that Cuba was the only country that met the criteria for sustainable development. It passed the qualifying measures both in hectares of land per person and the United Nations Development Program’s measure of Human Development Index, which takes into account education, life expectancy, and GDP per capita27. From 1992 to 1998, the Cuban government amended the constitution to include the goal of sustainable development, the National Environment and Development Program was created, and a national program for environmental education also emerged28. In his 1992 speech at the Rio Earth Summit, Fidel Castro emphasized the Hugh. "Cuba's Organic Revolution." 457-60. 26 Ewing, Ed. "Cuba's Organic Revolution." 27 Hails, Chris, ed. Living Planet Report 2006. 25 Warwick,
necessity of sustainable development in searching for a solution to climate change, simultaneously pointing a finger at capitalism and consumerism as the source of the problem: “Stop transferring to the Third World lifestyles and consumer habits that ruin the environment…. Use science to achieve sustainable development without pollution. Pay the ecological debt. Eradicate hunger and not humanity.”29 Castro’s words suggest that we’re looking at sustainability from the wrong angle. It’s a call towards the world’s superpowers, begging them to use their powers and privileges for good, and not for evil. This same message echoes through environmental movements today; through divestment, we’re pleading with our academic institutions to use the tremendous economic power they have to make the world a better place and build a cleaner future.
Fidel Castro giving his speech, “Tomorrow Will Be Too Late” at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Source: UN/Michos Tzovaras
Is Cuba’s sustainability at least in part due to government policy, as Castro
seems to suggest? Some argue yes. A 2001 article in the Cuban newspaper Granma International insists that the Cuban government has remained steadfastly committed to sustainability, even through harsh economic times. From 1960 Rachel. "Why Cuba's Sustainability Is Not an Accident." TreeHugger. Last modified April 20, 2012. Accessed April 6, 2014. http://www.treehugger.com/environmental-policy/why-cuba-sustainability-notaccident.html. 29 Castro, Fidel. "Tomorrow Will Be Too Late." 28 Cernansky,
through the mid-‐nineties, environmental policy was spread through many different agencies in the government, and lack of enforcement was a big issue. The National Commission for Environmental Protection and the Rational Use of National Resources (COMARNA), which was established in 1976 and reestablished in 1990, had very little power within the government and was ineffective in creating significant progress30. However, an amendment to the constitution was added after the 1992 Rio Summit, during an extreme economic recession, emphasizing that both the people and the government have a responsibility to build a sustainable world31. Several other reforms were pushed, and in 1994 the government created the Ministry of Science, Technology, and the Environment (CITMA), which was far better positioned to enforce protection than its predecessor COMARNA. CITMA includes several different parts: the Environmental Directorate helps write climate-‐ related laws, the National Center for Protected Areas deals with national parks and other protected lands, the Center for Environmental Management, Education, and Information implements governmental actions that relate to the climate, and the Environmental Agency oversees many different organizations doing environmental research. In 1997 the government also enacted the Law of Environment and a National Environmental Strategy, which emphasized sustainable development and a higher prioritization of environmental issues30. While American politicians often demonize Castro’s regime, it has made huge strides towards sustainability for its country. The United States, as one of the worst offenders in contributing to climate change, could learn a great deal about protecting the world we live in if we could bare to take an example from those who we see as “backwards”. Ultimately, how did Cuba end up with the sustainable systems it has now? Was the country more impacted by political and economic circumstances that unintentionally pushed it towards sustainability or a committed government creating genuine and effective policies? There isn’t one clear answer; both factors have undoubtedly had a profound impact on the country’s relationship with its and Rey Santos. "Protecting Cuba’s Environment” 73-103 31 Cernansky, Rachel. "Why Cuba's Sustainability Is Not an Accident." 30 Whittle
environment. It seems unlikely that without such dramatic isolation from American capitalism the country’s resources would have remained unexploited; the recent histories of many other Latin American countries, like Ecuador, suggest that Cuba’s environment dodged a bullet in that sense. However, without governmental policies that purposefully took economic struggles as opportunities for sustainable changes, Cuba would never have reached the place it is at today. One of the biggest questions about sustainability in Cuba is, what does the future hold? The Embargo has been denounced by people from both parties in the US, and President Obama has taken action to loosen its restrictions in recent years. Many people agree that the Embargo’s ineffectiveness and the current trajectory of Cuban-‐American relations suggest that its time is coming to an end32. What happens to the Cuban environment when the Embargo is lifted will be very telling about the roots of the current movement. Some people predict that the opening of Cuba’s economy will cause a deterioration of the progress that the country has made in the last half-‐century in favor of economic development. On the other hand, others suggest that the solid environmental policies created by the Castro regime could survive new economic pressure and sustainable development would continue, if these policies were sufficiently enforced. What does Cuba show us about where environmental progress could come from in the rest of the world? One thing is for certain; we can’t rely on drastic economic and political circumstances to always force us into living sustainably on our planet. That said, the Organic Revolution is an inspiring reminder that good things can come out of bad situations. The success of sustainable development suggests that maybe we’re looking at things wrong; maybe we don’t have to pit economic success against sustainable living. Whether or not accidental factors were the sole reason for Cuba’s successful preservation of its rich natural resources, there’s no doubt that these factors were instrumental in sparking the change. Where can we find this same pressure and motivation if it’s not going to come from some Daniel. "Four Decades of Failure” Whittle and Rey Santos. "Protecting Cuba’s Environment” 73-103
external government or extreme economic conditions cutting us off from certain resources? Will it come from our own leaders, people committed to fighting for change, or the drastic reality that sets in when we don’t have any more options but to adapt to climate change? In a letter to the Board of Trustees, our student body presidents Thomas and Dylan suggested that our school, and all the institutions we are a part of, could be tools with which we try to change the world33. When I think about the divestment campaign, though, I can’t help but wonder what will be enough to make change happen, even on the small scale of just our school. We currently have 287 signatures on our petition; they came from students, faculty, parents and alumni who feel, as we do, that climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time and that we have a duty to do whatever we can to fight it. Maybe some external force will appear and motivate the administration to take action; maybe prospective parents will suddenly be less interested in a school that has citizenship as one of its moral pillars but refuses to take the most necessary steps in the path to global citizenship. At the moment, though, it looks like we’re going to have to create that force within ourselves, keep pushing until our voices are heard and progress is made. This doesn’t just apply to Head-‐Royce. Cuba is an example of how far we can go towards a sustainable world, if only enough pressure is applied. But this pressure isn’t going to come from the outside world and hit us here in Oakland, California, until it’s too late. Are we really going to wait for a hurricane that floods the streets of San Francisco, a disease that spreads as mosquitos fly to warming areas, or the day that the mountains in Tahoe are bare and dry in January? We can’t wait until the negative impacts of climate change break through the buffer of civilization we’ve created and shock us in action; it has to happen now, and it has to come from within. As Fidel Castro said at the 1992 Rio Climate Summit, “Tomorrow will be too late to do what we should have done a long time ago.”34
33 Peterson, Thomas, and Dylan Carlson. Letter, "Letter to the HRS Board of Trustees," 34 Castro, Fidel. "Tomorrow Will Be Too Late."
Bibliography 350.org. "The Science." 350.org. Accessed March 9, 2014. http://350.org/about/science/. 350.or is the environmental Non-Profit that members of the Head-Royce community have often sited about issues like divesting the school's endowment from the fossil fuel industry. 350.org organized the San Francisco protest against the Keystone XL Pipeline which I attended. Their website has a lot of background information about the impacts of climate change, and in addition research explaining why 2ËšC is too big of a temperature shift for the world to cope with. Castro, Fidel. "Tomorrow Will Be Too Late." Speech presented at Rio Earth Summit, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1992. Responding to Climate Change. Last modified May 4, 2012. Accessed March 7, 2014. http://www.rtcc.org/2012/05/02/countdown-torio20-fidel-castros-1992-speech/. Speech given by Fidel Castro at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, condemning the negative impacts that capitalism and consumerism have had on both the environment and global poverty, urging for sustainable development of developing countries. A quote from this speech was used in a PBS article on Cuba's environmental history, and I searched the speech to find its entire text. Cernansky, Rachel. "Why Cuba's Sustainability Is Not an Accident." TreeHugger. Last modified April 20, 2012. Accessed April 6, 2014. http://www.treehugger.com/environmental-policy/why-cuba-sustainability-notaccident.html. TreeHugger is a leading media outlet focused on sustainability. This article gives a lot of information about sustainability in Cuba in general, including bicycle culture, deforestation, and environmental legislation. The main thesis of the article counters a popular belief in the environmental field: that Cuba unintentionally landed on environmentally sustainable culture out of economic necessity and other circumstances. Interesting and useful counterbalance to many of my sources that support this point. Chelys. "Deforestation in Cuba and Haiti." Earth Snapshot. Last modified January 18, 2014. Accessed April 23, 2014. http://www.eosnap.com/climatechange/deforestation-in-cuba-and-haiti/. Provides several statistics about deforestation in Cuba as well as reforestation efforts. Díaz-Briquets, Sergio, and Jorge Pérez-López. Conquering Nature: The Environmental Legacy of Socialism in Cuba. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2000. Digital file. Book on the impact of socialism on Cuba's environment. Entire book is available online through the University of Pittsburgh Press Digital Additions library. Educational Broadcasting. "Cuba: The Accidental Eden - A Brief Environmental History." PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. Accessed March 9, 2014.
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/cuba-the-accidental-eden/a-briefenvironmental-history/5830/. PBS Website detailing the ecological history of Cuba, especially in relation to the US Embargo and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Great information on the environmental impacts of the political and economic history of the country. Ewing, Ed. "Cuba's Organic Revolution." The Guardian. Last modified April 3, 2008. Accessed April 2, 2014. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2008/apr/04/organics.food. Article describing the agricultural revolution in post-USSR Cuba, how it came about and where it was in 2008. Description of farmers and farms, called "organopónico". Statistics about hunger in Cuba. Galligan, Laura. Interview by the author. Oakland, CA. May 4, 2014. Short interview with Sra. Galligan about the Bay Area Transitions Movement, which was conducted via email. Griswold, Daniel. "Four Decades of Failure: The U.S. Embargo against Cuba." Speech presented at James A. Baker III Institute Program, Cuba and the United States in the 21st Century, Rice University, Houston, TX, October 12, 2005. Cato Institute. Last modified October 12, 2005. Accessed April 2, 2014. http://www.cato.org/publications/speeches/four-decades-failure-us-embargoagainst-cuba. Speech given by an extremely pro-free-market researcher about the negative impacts of the US Embargo on Cuba and the US. Statistics about food imports, titles of environmental legislation, and reference to Venezuelan oil imported to Cuba. Hails, Chris, ed. Living Planet Report 2006. Gland, Switzerland: World Wildlife Fund for Nature, 2006. PDF. Long, detailed report by the World Wildlife Fund, Zoological Society of London, and the Global Footprint Network. Collects and combines data in order to review the state of the natural world and humanity's impact upon it. Very helpful information on sustainable development, including statistics about the Human Development Index. Linden, Eugene. "The Nature of Cuba." Smithsonian, May 2003, 94-106. Accessed April 6, 2014. SIRS. Discusses vast biological diversity of Cuba and why it is valuable. References conservation efforts in the country. McKibben, Bill. "Global Warming's Terrifying New Math." Rolling Stone, July 19, 2012. Accessed April 24, 2014. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/globalwarmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719. Article by the prominent climate activist Bill McKibben detailing the most recent statistics surrounding climate change, including the 2ËšC maximum change in
temperature and the parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere that our world can handle. Thanks to Thomas Peterson for sending this to me. Morgan, Faith, and Pat Murphy. "The Power of Community: Faith Morgan and Pat Murphy Interview." Peak Oil News and Message Boards. Video file, 4:32. Posted by Link TV, December 21, 2010. Accessed March 7, 2014. http://peakoil.com/generalideas/the-power-of-community-faith-morgan-and-patmurphy-interview. Short interview with the filmmakers of "The Power of Community. How Cuba Survived Peak Oil". Discusses the massive economic and agricultural crisis that came from the loss of Soviet Union oil in 1991, and the subsequent conversion to entirely organic agriculture. Saya sent me the original documentary, and I looked up the filmmakers to find this interview. Peters, Eian. Speech, Keystone XL Pipeline Protest, San Francisco, CA, March 3, 2014. My friend Eian Peters gave a spontaneous speech at the Keystone XL Pipeline protest which I attended with about 15 of my classmates. He was quoted my many supporters of the protest afterwards about whether or not we are the generation of complacency. I saw the speech in person but found the exact wording of the quote I wanted by watching this video about the protest: http://vimeo.com/88125298. Peterson, Thomas, and Dylan Carlson. Letter, "Letter to the HRS Board of Trustees," April 15, 2014. Google Document. Letter written by Dylan and Thomas to the HRS Board of Trustees urging for divestment. They cite statistics about climate change as well as providing background information on divestment and emphasizing our duty to fight for change. Rhett A. Buttler. "Cuba Deforestation Rates and Related Forestry Figures." Moongabay. Accessed April 23, 2014. http://rainforests.mongabay.com/. Many statistics about the Cuban environment, mostly focusing on deforestation and reforestation efforts. Riera, Lilliam. "In the Midst of an Economic Crisis, Cuba Strengthens Its Environmental Agenda." Granma International (La Habana, Cuba), June 10, 2001. Article from a Cuban newspaper that details the strengthening of the country's environmental plan during tough economic times, including the special period. Statistics on deforestation, education, pollution and protected zones. Rogers, Simon. "World Carbon Emissions, by Country: Can the Copenhagen Climate Summit Bring These Down?" The Guardian, December 7, 2009. Accessed May 4, 2014. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/datablog/2009/dec/07/copenhagenclimate-change-summit-carbon-emissions-data-country-world. Article describing global CO2 emissions from 1980 to 2007. Large graphic with bubbles that illustrate emissions per country, data about specific countries' emissions.
Santana, Eduardo C. "Nature Conservation and Sustainable Development in Cuba." Conservation Biology 5, no. 1 (March 1991): 13-16. Accessed April 2, 2014. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2386333. Very scientific overview of the Cuban environment as of 1991. Many statisticsmostly positive, some negative. Some references to specific environmental legislation and other relevant political information. Solis, Dianne. "Energizing Cuba." Dallas Morning News (Dallas, TX), September 20, 1998. Short article describing Cuba's energy market in 1998 and how many oil companies were showing interest in doing business with the country. Some discussion of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the impact that had on energy in Cuba, as well as the connections between political power and oil in Cuba. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Kyoto Protocol. Kyoto, Japan: United Nations, 1997. PDF. Text of the original Kyoto Protocol (English version) found on the website of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Published in 1997, it does not reflect the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, which was adopted in Doha, Quatar in 2012. The original Kyoto Protocol set out international, binding commitments to emissions reductions for its Parties. Warwick, Hugh. "Cuba's Organic Revolution." Ecologist, December 1999, 457-60. Accessed April 6, 2014. SIRS. Discusses impact of US Embargo and collapse of the USSR on Cuba's industrial agriculture and the transition to organic farming out of necessity. Also describes the surprising efficiency of the farming methods created. Whittle, Daniel, and Orlando Rey Santos. "Protecting Cuba’s Environment: Efforts to Design and Implement Effective Environmental Laws and Policies in Cuba." Cuban Studies 37 (2006): 73-103. Published by the University of Pittsburgh Press, Cuban Studies is considered one of the foremost scholarly journals on Cuba. This article gives a diverse and detailed view of environmentalism and environmental policy in Cuba, focusing mostly on 1960-present day (written in 2006).
Exposing Injustice in the Justice System: A Report on Racial Bias in Jury Selection By Olivia Lucas Global Issues 5/9/2014
Source: Google Images
Abstract: The issue I am addressing is racial bias in the U.S. Criminal Justice System, particularly regarding the selection of juries and the impact of peremptory challenges. My own experience working an Oakland-‐based restorative justice program that has successfully deterred many minority youth from entering the Criminal Justice System has led me to question the fairness and impartiality of America’s courts. My research aims to reveal the racially discriminatory effect that the lack of diversity among court officials and jury members has on the many defendants of color that are tried in criminal court. This paper brings awareness to numerous case studies in which juries were not representative of their diverse communities. Through my research, I have come to the conclusion that America’s Criminal justice System is innately bias and, through many of its practices, perpetuates inequality, instead of fulfilling its purpose of equally protecting the rights of all citizens, regardless of race or ethnic background.
Our country, which we affectionately call “the melting pot,” “land of the free,” and “land of opportunity,” has not lived up to its name. The very freedoms and civil liberties America prides itself on have historically been countered by institutions and practices that explicitly and implicitly discriminate against certain groups. During the era of slavery, blacks were brought to America and routinely held against their will in involuntary servitude for long spans of time and even for life. Even after the abolition of slavery, blacks were still excluded from voting or serving in public office, prohibited from traveling freely, denied access to education and employment, and suffered stricter punishment than whites who committed the same crimes.1 How far has our nation progressed from this institutionalized subjugation of African Americans? I would argue, not very far. “Like slavery, mass incarceration operates as a tightly networked system of laws, policies, customs, and institutions that operate collectively to ensure the subordinate status of a group defined largely by race,” explained Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow.2 Essentially, mass incarceration is the Parson, E. Earl, and Monique McLaughlin. “Citizenship In Name Only: The Coloring Of Democracy While Redefining Rights, Liberties, and Self Determination for the 21st Century.” Columbia Journal of Race and Law 3, no. 1 (2013). Outlines the historical developments in the struggle to achieve full citizenship rights for African Americans, specifically focusing on jury service and the right to vote. Chapter 3, Jury Participation: The Systematic Exclusion, was most useful and relevant to my research as it provided detailed information about the historical degradation of African Americans through jury exclusion. 2 Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow. Revised ed. New York, NY: The New Press, 2012. A frequently referenced book that discusses the mass incarceration of African Americans and challenges the notion that America has progressed from its racist history. It addresses the history that led to this injustice and the consequences that the African American community is now experiencing and will continue to experience in the future if we do not solve the problem soon. 1
modern form of institutionalized slavery. According to Alexander, there are currently more blacks in prison, in jail, on probation, and on parole than were enslaved in 1850. This disproportionate representation of African Americans, specifically black males, in prison populations is a direct result of policies that were implemented as early as 1971 and especially targeted minorities. Less than 10 years after, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have A Dream Speech,” President Richard Nixon declared the War on Drugs, which many sources say deliberately Source: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/snitch/primer/
targets and disproportionately impacts African Americans. In the impending years, higher minimum drug sentences for substances commonly used in black neighbor-‐ hoods and the implement-‐
ation of the “three strikes” law led to a significant increase in the number of African Americans entering the Criminal Justice System. 3 There are a myriad of past factors that have contributed to the present mass incarceration and mass disenfranchisement of the African American community. In 3 Sterling, Eric E. "Drug Laws and Snitching: A Primer." PBS Frontline. Accessed May 1, 2014. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/snitch/primer/. This informative web page written by the President of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation and Co-Chair of the American Bar Association clearly outlines the history and long-term impacts of mandatory minimum drug sentences.
our current Criminal Justice System, I believe the root of the problem stems from the frequent absence of an African American perspective and voice in the courtroom, which often contributes to a racial prejudice prematurely skewed against the hundreds of thousands of African Americans who are tried in criminal court each year. Ideally, the jury exists to counteract these prejudices, deliver an impartial opinion on the case at hand, and provide an opportunity for the accused to be tried by his or her peers. Nevertheless, unjust exclusion and dismissals of African Americans from juries have compromised the administration of justice in our nation’s Criminal Justice System and pervaded the courts with even more racial biases. In the U.S. Criminal Justice System, where African Americans make up the majority of defendants on trial, but less than 4% of district attorneys, prosecutors, state court judges, and appellate judges, maintaining jury diversity is absolutely essential to preserving the impartiality of the judicial system and ensuring equal representation for people of color.4 The most common manner in which African Americans are unfairly removed from juries is by way of peremptory challenges. Following voir dire, a specified time for the judge and attorneys to question and dismiss prospective jurors “for cause,” attorneys are allowed a designated number of peremptory challenges that grant them “the right to challenge a juror without assigning, or being required to assign a
Reynolds, Chantal. Interview. Oakland. April 9, 2014. Chantal Reynolds is an employee at the regional NAACP office and the Youth Development and Leadership Coordinator for the Oakland Youth Commission.
reason for the challenge.” 5 In other words, peremptory challenges enable an attorney to reject any potential jurors he believes may have the slightest bit of partiality without providing a plausible reason for doing so. Too often, attorneys, especially prosecutors, tend to abuse peremptory challenges for the sake of striking primarily African Americans from jury venires and jury pools. Although the U.S. Supreme Court has forbidden peremptory strikes based on race, the Equal Justice Initiative asserts that “there is perhaps no arena of public life or governmental administration where racial discrimination is more widespread, apparent, and seemingly tolerated than in the selection of juries”.6 According to a study on the psychological forces that influence peremptory challenges, ethnically diverse juries tend to reduce racial bias and encourage more thorough deliberations.7 These more thoughtful discussions are likely a result of “Peremptory Challenge.” In West’s Encyclopedia of American Law. 2nd ed.This dictionary entry clearly defines a peremptory challenge as “the right to challenge a juror without assigning, or being required to assign, a reason for the challenge”.
Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). “Illegal Racial Discrimination in Jury Selection: A Continuing Legacy.” The Equal Justice Initiative Key Findings and Recommendations, August 2010. Many of the other sources I used for research, including a New York Times article and a NPR podcast, referred back to this report that investigates the practices and procedures of eight southern states regarding illegal exclusion of people of color from juries. The report highlights the large disparities between the percentage of African Americans in the county population and the percentage represented in county juries.
Sommers, Samuel R., and Michael I. Norton. “Race and Jury Selection: Psychological Perspectives on the Peremptory Challenge Debate.” American Psychologist, September 2008. I was brought to the site while reading a page on the American Psychologist Association web page. This report, by graduate students at Tufts University and Harvard Business School, explores the role of psychology and racial bias in jury selections, specifically the use of peremptory challenges.
being able to draw on the experiences of others and considering other perspectives from which to judge the case on trial. Consider high school class discussions: aren’t they much more rich and fulfilling when students contribute diverse opinions and thoughts based on their own unique life experiences? Imagine if every student lived in the same neighborhood and had the same exact upbringing, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and political and religious views: discussions would likely remain very monotone and follow one train of thought. It’s the same story with juries. Since a disproportionate number of people of color enter the Criminal Justice System, it is important that jury members are able to relate to or hear from another juror the unique experience of being a minority in society to truly understand the nature or motive of a crime that has been committed. Without knowledge of other perspectives, we naturally revert to our innate ethnocentric mindsets that inhibit us from overlooking our own prejudice and bias when judging a situation. Source: ArrestRecords.com
On the other hand, when a jury is comprised of individuals with different backgrounds and perspectives, it is more apt to reach a fair and accurate verdict because jury members can correct one another’s misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the evidence presented at trial.8 Results from a second study support these claims. The study revealed that in cases where no blacks were on the jury, black defendants were convicted at an 81% rate and white defendants at a 66% rate, whereas when the jury included at least one black member, conviction rates were much more comparable: 71% for black defendants and 73% for whites.9
Source: see footnote 9
Henley, Patricia. “Improving the Jury System: Peremptory Challenges.” Public Law Research Institute - UC Hastings Law School, 2004. This journal discussed the major landmarks in the development of jury selection processes, specifically the application of peremptory challenges, over the years. I really like this source because it also clearly outlines the pros and cons of peremptory challenges. 9 Anwar, Shamena, Patrick Bayer, and Randi Hjalmarsson. "The Impact of Jury Race in Criminal Trials." Oxford Journals, The Quarterly Journal of Economics ser., April 17, 2012. This article examines the impact of jury racial composition on 8
In addition, the first study further concluded that juries that do not accurately represent the racial demographics of their communities tend to elicit skepticism rather than conﬁdence in the system.10 According to the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, all defendants tried in a criminal proceeding are entitled to a jury of their peers11. Recurring jury exclusions and peremptory challenges, on the other hand, continue to deprive African Americans of their constitutional rights. If the jury is supposed to be a reflection of one’s peers, shouldn’t the accused be able to identify with at least one person on the jury in some obvious shape or form? Through my work at Centerforce Youth Court, I have been able to see the effect that the jury’s ability to relate to the defendant and vice versa has on both parties. Centerforce Youth Court is a restorative justice program where at-‐risk youth in Oakland who have committed a first offense are defended, prosecuted, and tried by their peers. At Centerforce Youth Court, the jury, judge, and attorneys trial outcomes using a data set of felony trials in Florida between 2000 and 2010. The study reveals a lot of facts and figures that support the points I make throughout my paper. I came across this article while reading a CNN article about jury pools. 10 Sommers, Samuel R., and Michael I. Norton. "Race and Jury Selection: Psychological Perspectives on the Peremptory Challenge Debate." American Psychologist, September 2008. I was brought to the site while reading a page on the American Psychologist Association web page. This report, by graduate students at Tufts University and Harvard Business School, explores the role of psychology and racial bias in jury selections, specifically the use of peremptory challenges. 11
Jefferson, Thomas. “Articles I - X of U.S. Constitution.” In The Bill of Rights. New York, NY, 1789.The first ten Articles of the Constitution are commonly referred to as the Bill of Rights. Article 6 is most relevant to my research as it states the requirements for due process of law.
Source: Centerforce Youth Court
reflect both the racial and socioeconomic diversity of Oakland. By virtue of this representation, youth offenders often feel more confident in the jury’s decision because they find solace in knowing that their background or experience might be better understood and more accurately perceived. As both a prosecutor and a defense attorney, I have used this characteristic of the courtroom to my advantage. For example, when I prosecuted an individual who committed a crime at school, I began my opening statement by saying, “Raise your hand if you went to school today.” I, along with more than half of the individuals in the courtroom, including the defendant, the jury, and the attorneys, all raised our hands. Now picture me arguing a case involving a young African American male in the U.S. Criminal Justice System. Would half or even a quarter of the courtroom be able to raise their hand when asked: Do you know what it feels like to be bombarded by negative reflections of yourself in the media? Are you ever afraid to walk down the
street in your own neighborhood out of fear of being stopped and searched by a police officer? Have you ever had to work twice as hard as others to get only half of what they already have? I doubt that many of the jury members, judges, or lawyers would be able to identify with most of these experiences. Nevertheless, these and many other circumstances are very important in fully understanding an African American’s background. I believe that if there were more individuals of color involved in the judicial process who could relate to the experiences of African Americans, there would be a more balanced scale of justice, a heightened sense of integrity, and a greater proclivity toward equality in the U.S. Criminal Justice System. Realistically, most courtrooms in the U.S. Criminal Justice System are not as reflective of their diverse communities as those at Centerforce Youth Court. An exonerated death row prisoner quoted in the Equal Justice Initiative report eloquently summed up his experience as an African American in the Criminal Justice System; “I looked around the courtroom. The judge was white. The prosecutor was white. My lawyer was white. The jury was white. Even though I was innocent, I knew I had no chance.”12 Of the individuals in the quote mentioned above, the group that generally holds the most power in determining the final verdict is the jury. Interestingly Justice Initiative (EJI). "Illegal Racial Discrimination in Jury Selection: A Continuing Legacy." The Equal Justice Initiative Key Findings and Recommendations, August 2010. Many of the other sources I used for research, including a New York Times article and a NPR podcast, referred back to this report that investigates the practices and procedures of eight southern states regarding illegal exclusion of people of color from juries. The report highlights the large disparities between the percentage of African Americans in the county population and the percentage represented in county juries.
enough, this group is also the one that is supposed to be most reflective of the community. In many situations, however, this is not the case. The Equal Justice Initiative report revealed that exclusion of African Americans from juries has become increasingly apparent in the South, especially for serious criminal and capital cases. The study found that from 2005 to 2009, in cases where the death penalty was imposed, prosecutors in Houston County, Alabama, used peremptory strikes to remove 80% of the African Americans qualiﬁed for jury service. Consequently, half of the Houston County juries were all-‐white and the remaining juries had only a single black member, despite the fact that the county is 27% African American. The report further showed that prosecutors commonly justify the peremptory striking of African Americans by attesting to reasons strongly associated with racial stereotypes. Prosecutors frequently claim to strike African American jurors because of their perceived “low intelligence” or “lack of education”, or because they live in a “high crime” predominantly black community. In Louisiana, a prosecutor recently admitted that he removed a juror because he was a “single black male with no children.” In a different Louisiana case, the prosecutor struck a black juror because the prosecutor thought he “looked like a drug dealer.” In Georgia, a prosecutor even struck a juror because he had a son in an interracial marriage.13
13 Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). "Illegal Racial Discrimination in Jury Selection: A Continuing Legacy." The Equal Justice Initiative Key Findings and Recommendations, August 2010. Many of the other sources I used for research, including a New York Times article and a NPR podcast, referred back to this report that investigates the practices and procedures of eight southern states regarding illegal exclusion of people of color from juries. The report highlights
When a prosecutor routinely strikes people of color from juries, he or she rarely suffers any consequences because court officials, most of whom are white, often deem the reason for the strike to be justified and therefore, acceptable. The continued exclusion of African Americans from juries reveals an indifference to racial discrimination in the U.S. Criminal Justice System and a lack of concern for the preservation of impartiality and fairness. Additionally, the nature of peremptory challenges perpetuates stereotypes. This unjustified prejudgment of potential jurors that systematically excludes certain groups of individuals from the jury leads me question the role of our criminal courts. Are they fulfilling their purpose of the large disparities between the percentage of African Americans in the county population and the percentage represented in county juries.
promoting equality, securing justice, and protecting the rights of citizens, or are they working against it? Can juries truly craft a verdict that accurately reflects the values of the entire community, if all members of the community are not represented?
The framework for these injustices in our so-‐called “justice” system was
shaped by the case of Robert Swain v. Alabama (1965), in which a black man was sentenced to death by an all-‐white jury for raping a white woman. In Talladega County, where the trial took place, no African American had served on a trial jury since 1950 because all blacks in the jury pool were always removed by peremptory strikes. After 15 years of completely non-‐black juries, it comes as no surprise that the six African Americans on Robert Swain’s jury panel were peremptorily struck by the prosecutor. After the defense attorney objected to the strikes and appealed to Supreme Court, the U.S. Supreme Court declared the strikes did not violate Swain’s constitutional rights because the facts did not adequately prove the prosecutor intentionally discriminated against black jurors. 14 Swain v. Alabama established a heavy burden of proof to prove a prosecutor's discriminatory intent, making it increasingly hard for defense attorneys to challenge peremptory strikes in future cases.
Justice Initiative (EJI). "Illegal Racial Discrimination in Jury Selection: A Continuing Legacy." The Equal Justice Initiative Key Findings and Recommendations, August 2010. Many of the other sources I used for research, including a New York Times article and a NPR podcast, referred back to this report that investigates the practices and procedures of eight southern states regarding illegal exclusion of people of color from juries. The report highlights the large disparities between the percentage of African Americans in the county population and the percentage represented in county juries.
Since Swain v. Alabama there have been significant advancements in policies regarding peremptory challenges. In the opinion for Batson v. Kentucky, Supreme Court Justice Powell stated that “a state denies a black defendant equal protection when it puts him on trial before a jury from which members of his race have been purposefully excluded.” The ruling on Batson v. Kentucky reduced the defendant’s burden of proof to simply show the prosecutor’s use of racial discrimination in the defendant’s own jury selection, as opposed to also proving the prosecutor’s previous use of discrimination and illegal peremptory strikes. While Batson v. Kentucky ruled that the defendant be a member of the same racial group as the juror who was stricken to claim racial discrimination, Powers v. Ohio, later ruled that the defendant could argue intentional racial discrimination, regardless of his or her race. 15 Although remedies to address corrupting racial prejudices in our courts are being slowly achieved, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall long ago asserted that “eliminating the shameful practice of racial discrimination in the selection of juries . . . can be accomplished only by eliminating peremptory challenges entirely.”16
Patricia. "Improving the Jury System: Peremptory Challenges." Public Law Research Institute - UC Hastings Law School, 2004. This journal discussed the major landmarks in the development of jury selection processes, specifically the application of peremptory challenges, over the years. I really like this source because it also clearly outlines the pros and cons of peremptory challenges. 16 Sommers, Samuel R., and Michael I. Norton. "Race and Jury Selection: Psychological Perspectives on the Peremptory Challenge Debate." American Psychologist, September 2008. I was brought to the site while reading a page on the American Psychologist Association web page. This report, by graduate students at Tufts University and Harvard Business School, explores the role of psychology and racial bias in jury selections, specifically the use of peremptory challenges. 15 Henley,
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall Source: Google Images
I agree with Justice Marshall. Without the elimination of peremptory challenges, African Americans will continue to be subjected to a system that they have very little say in or power over. This phenomenon directly contradicts the aim of the Criminal Justice System. When grave disparities exist among the demographics of a community, the racial groups represented on a jury, and the incarcerated population of a certain group, the many injustices in what our nation calls its “justice” system become very clear. African Americans make up less than 13% of the U.S. population, but represent over 60% of individuals that are in prisons
and jails.17 In many counties, however, most eligible African Americans are never seated on a jury and, therefore, do not have the chance to rectify any racial prejudices consciously or unconsciously exercised against their peers in jury deliberations. The result is that a vast number of African Americans are negatively impacted by the stereotypes our society has formed about them and, consequently, incarcerated for crimes they did not commit or given longer sentences than necessary. The mass incarceration of African Americans reinforces the negative stereotype that African Americans are violent, belligerent, and deserve to be in prison. Thus, the chronic cycle of racial bias continues. It is time to break the cycle that has endured for centuries by eliminating practices and procedures, such as peremptory challenges, that promote institutionalized racism in the U.S. Criminal Justice System. Although the elimination of peremptory challenges and racially-‐driven jury exclusions may not be feasible in the immediate future because of the need for policy changes, efforts can be made now to move our society a few steps closer to decreasing racial bias in our Criminal Justice System. The starting point of this effort is engaging the entire community in the judicial process. Though certain individuals may be excused or not asked to be on a 17 Glaze, Lauren E. "Appendix Table 3." Bureau of Justice Report on U.S. Correctional Populations in 2010, December 2011, 8. PDF. The Correctional Populations report by the U.S. Department of Justice is conducted annually; however, 2010 was the most recent year that the report included data on inmate populations based upon race. The cited table demonstrates the disparity between the number of White, Black, and Hispanic inmates in 2010. The table also contains data that shows how these numbers differ based on sex and age.
jury, they are not excluded from sitting in the audience of a courtroom and watching the trial proceeding. Concerned citizens, community-‐based groups, and human rights organizations should attend trial proceedings to enquire about the conduct of court officials and hold discriminatory officials accountable for their actions, especially with regard to racially biased jury selection. Furthermore, educating minority youth about Criminal Justice is essential to preventing them from entering the System. More programs like Centerforce Youth Court that are aimed at building diversity in the legal system should be established. Crump Law Camp Mock Trial Competition Semi-‐Finalists
A summer enrichment program I attended the summer before my Junior year really sparked my interest in
Courtesy of Olivia Lucas
government. At Crump Law Camp, a two-‐week long program hosted by the National Bar Association, I participated in mock trial competitions, interacted with other youth interested in law, and heard panel presentations from successful African American lawyers. Seeing so many young African-‐American attorneys, who pursed
their dreams and are now making a difference in their communities, inspired me to become a lawyer myself someday. It was a domino effect. Unfortunately, right now in America, there is a domino effect that is filling our prisons and jails with African Americans. Imagine if we used that momentum to raise awareness about the need for African American lawyers, policy makers, judges, and jurors. Imagine if we could transform this negative domino effect into the positive one I experienced at Crump Law Camp and encourage more young people of color to take an interest in law. In my opinion, increasing diversity among the decision makers in courtrooms is the most effective long-‐term solution to addressing racial bias in the U.S. Criminal Justice System. NBA Crump Law Camp 2012 Participants
Courtesy of Olivia Lucas