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DYSSEY South of the Border Tourism: Mexico’s Best Friend or Mortal Enemy With My Back Against the Wall: The US-Mexico Border Fence Racial Profiling: Appearance isn’t Everything

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A B O U TT HE

M

ary Ellen, the one whose initials spell ME, the one who’s the loudest in the group, possibly the whole class, the one whose always in a great mood, the one who races to class to see who can log in first? Yup! That’s Mary Ellen! She is the bomb, with explosions of creativeness, talent, intelligence and humor. Being easily distracted by her surroundings may be a problem for her, but she always manages to finish her work, even if that means cram it all in, in the last 10 minutes of class.

E

rin. What a studmuffin! She is a very full-of-energy and spontaneous individual with a strange taste in style. She is always rockin’ those argyle sweaters with her neon-pink shoes. Because that’s where it’s at! Although she is often off task and distracts the group she manages to get most of her work done. She has an amazing sense of humor and knows just how to make her group giggle.

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S

ofia, hmm…Where to start with this girl? First of all, Sofia is a snazzy, fun and lovable person. During her band class she rocks out on the clarinet, but after school, she enlightens the field with her beautiful synthesizer playing that she plays with the LBJ school marching band. Usually on task, although, boy gossip may get her distracted just an itty-bit. She is very intelligent, not to mention VERY creative with creating and helping with the group layouts.

E

lissa, a good friendly friend. She is very quiet and timid, but everyone knows deep down that she is a wild, partying, one-in-a-million individual. No one has yet to see her not doing anything school-related, but she claims to be, so called “fun”. She is always on task and manages to get her work done, even with her obnoxious, distractive group. Although, she is a bit on the different side, she is overflowing with intelligence and has a GREAT sense of humor.

S T A F F

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Letter from the

Editor Dear Odyssey Readers, We are a group of close friends with a love for the world and travel. After a long semester, we were able to create a magazine that shows that passion for the world. We hope that after reading this magazine you will learn more about the world around you and have a new appreaciation for travel.

The hardworking crew of Odyssey 4

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Tableof Contents 6 8 10

Tourism: Mexico’s Best Friend or Mortal Enemy With My Back Against the Wall: The U.S.-Mexico Border Wall Seeing the Skin: TSA’s Invasion of Privacy

Photograph by Sofia Kennedy

12 14 16

Vaccinations in Nicaragua

8000 Miles

The Man Behind the Beard

20

Vive la France

22

Racial Profiling: Appearance Isn’t Everything

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Tourism Mexico’s J

Best Friend or Mortal Enemy

ust after crossing the Mexican American border, Yuri had been signaled to pull over by drug traffickers three times. Only after showing them that they had kids in the car did they leave her and her family alone. “It scared me a lot. Thanks to god, we are safe,” said Yuri. Although there has been an increase in travel, I do not believe it is safe to travel to Mexico. Oskar Garcia wrote “Mexican President Felipe Calderon said May 19, 2011 that drug violence in Mexico isn’t hurting international tourism or the country’s plans to grow the industry.” Mexico’s tourism is doing as great as it always has and will continue to in the future, even if there are drug wars occurring.

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Do not travel to Mexico if it is not necessary because you can end up risking your life. There have been large numbers of deaths. Between 2006 and 2011 there have been more than 40,000 deaths caused by drug traffickers. “Eduardo’s letters grew more intense, informing me that he was never taken out of the box and that he had to relieve himself in a bucket. Four months in, he began to receive scheduled beatings twice a day. In the fifth month, he was shot in the left leg at close range. Ten days later, he was shot in the left arm. Photos of the bullet holes in his body arrived in my e-mail inbox.” Jane Rager narrated the events of her husband’s kidnapping. If a family who has lived in

Mexico for more than 15 years was not safe then how could we be safe? The law enforcement in Mexico is corrupt, there is no knowing if the law enforcements are working with the drug cartels or not. “Soldiers and federal agents captured the cops in Torreon, Coahuila, after a shootout this week in which 28 city patrol pickups were sent to free five Gulf cartel operatives just arrested by federal police, authorities said.” Wrote TheGuardian on September 12, 2008. “On the opposite side of the country, where Mexico borders Guatemala, another big police bust this week netted 26 agents, including the Tabasco state police chief. They were allegedly on a payroll doled out to officers by the Zetas, a paramili-


These are all photos of the beautiful wonders you could find while visitng Mexico. You could see a beautiful sunset or La Quebrada Cliff Diver in Alcapulco, Mexico as shown in the photos above.

tary group linked to the Gulf cartel.” “And in the beach resort of San Jose del Cabo, six officers are under house arrest for allegedly beating an American tourist to death at the local jail in August.” These were all cases reported during the same week. Usually when there is an emergency the first phone call we make is to the police, but now we would not want to call them because we cannot trust them. Travel companies have lowered rates to attract more travelers. “Resorts, hotels and cruises in the country have slashed prices in order to raise occupancy rates. Many international travelers are taking their chances at popular (and safer) tourist destinations in order to take advantage of a good deal on

a tropical vacation.” The fact that travel companies had to drastically lower prices to attract travelers is not good; if the travel companies had not changed their prices most

want to travel there, and if you so choose to, make sure to take lots of precaution. If you decide to travel to Mexico anyways please stay as close to your tourist location as possible, it will probably be the saf“Mexican officials confirmed, est place for you to be, but no guarthe country received 8.2 million antees. Try to research where you international visitors by air, are traveling to as much as you can business and leisure combined. before hand to know the situation it is in before you arrive. It could That’s more than 17.8% more also prevent unwanted surprises. than during the same period in While there it may be a good idea 2009 and 6.4% more than in to wear a money belt that way you are not targeted as a theft victim. 2008,” Take care! travelers would not risk a vacation to an extremely dangerous country Article by Elissa Lindquist-Sher Photographs by: Top left by Eneas like Mexico. Although knowing that traveling De Troya. Bottom left by James Kellerman. Right by Esparta Palma to Mexico is unsafe you may still

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With My Back

Against the

Wall

The U.S.-Mexico Border Wall

A

n 18-foot high fence almost 700 miles in length that stands along the border of the U.S. and Mexico. The wall has caused a rift in the relationship between the two countries it separates and created issues with the people impacted by the construction of this monstrous structure. It has severely harmed surrounding ecosystems and is, overall, not the most practical way of solving our country’s immigration problem. The fence

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along the border of the U.S. and Mexico is nothing more than an extreme and pointless act to keep illegal immigrants out and causes more problems than it solves. Since 2006, hundreds of people’s properties were divided by the fence, half left on “the U.S. side” and the other half of “the Mexico side,” as reported by the New York Times. Others lie entirely on the Mexico side, obliterated from the rest of the country. Those who own land affected by the fence complain

about their limited accessibility to the other side of their property and to the U.S. Richard Marosi of the LA Times reported an example of someone who was greatly affected by this construction. Pamela Taylor, whose home got stuck in between the Rio Grande and the border fence, says, “It’s a no man’s land. They said they were going to build a fence to protect all the people. We were just lost in the draw.” According to New York Times journalists Randall C. Archibold


and Julia Preston, a college campus in Brownsville split down the middle left its technology center and golf course on the other side of the fence. The fence has also caused many other major issues in the local areas. Wildlife all over the border has been destroyed, and, as NPR’s Mexico City Correspondent Jason Beaubien reports, the government has gone so far in its attempts to stop illegal immigration that it filled in and smoothed out the rugged terrain of the canyons along the border that concealed the crossing of illegal immigrants

with millions of cubic yards of Continued on page 26. earth. Beubien says, for example, that federal contractors have filled a canyon along the border known as the “Smugglers Gulch” with nearly 2 million cubic yards of soil cut from surrounding hills. This fence is not the solution to our immigration problem; the U.S. could have treated the issue of illegal immigration in a reasonable and amicable way. Instead, our country fights this issue with the worst possible way; we haven’t worked to solve the source of the situation, the fact that many people in Mexico want to seek a life in the

“It’s a no man’s land. They said they were going to build a fence to protect all the people. We were just lost in the draw.”

The U.S.-Mexico Border wall stands along the border of Texas, and many other Southern States. This photo was taken at the border between California and Mexico.

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Seeing the

SKIN

TSA Invasion of Privacy

Passangers wait in line for the scanners at an airport.

“O

ne Hundred Naked Citizens: One Hundred Leaked Body Scans.” “TSA to retest airport body scanners for radiation.” “Young boy strip searched by TSA.” These articles represent only a small fraction of the contentious events caused by the recent placement of TSA body scanners in airports across America. The scanners use low level X-rays to take images of the body that are revealing. The scanners take pictures of your body to find contraband, they are detailed pictures of your body. Even blurred to preserve dignity for the

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A women takes off her shoes before going in the scanner.

passengers, the images still invade travelers privacy. The TSA reported that these pictures wouldn’t be saved on the system. In November of 2010 a Gizmodo article revealed that about 35,000 pictures were leaked on the Internet; clearly they can be saved. On the TSA website they mention that the manufacturer claims the scanners are safe and have no dangerous levels of radiation, unless you are a child or pregnant. The TSA provides an option to not use the scanners and instead get a “thorough” pat down. In the end such a deplorable idea, like the scanners should be removed from

airports. The TSA website claims that the scanners will successfully find artfully hidden objects, firearms, and other things that are illegal on planes. The idea is, by putting these scanners everywhere, security lines at airports will speed up and have an increased success rate. The situation changes when you find out that there is no solid proof given that the scanners work. In a CBS investigation by Laura Strickler in November of 2011, Senator Chuck Grassley smuggled materials that could make a bomb past


various scanners at security check points in airports across America. When the report was released, it was classified. The summary was published in March 2010, but the report says, “The number of tests conducted, the names of the airports tested, and the quantitative and qualitative results of our testing are classified.” If we can’t even be shown how the tests turned out, why should we believe they work? On top of that the Vancouver Sun did an interview with leading Israeli airport security expert Rafi Sela, “I don’t know why everybody is running to buy these expensive and useless machines. I can overcome the body scanners with enough explosives to bring down a Boeing 747,” he said during the interview. Not only do we not know if they work, but they are a huge invasion of privacy. Their use was justified in part because the images would be deleted after the person was cleared as per the TSA policy. The problem is that it is possible to save them, and many people have. Joel Johnson, a writer for Gizmodo, revealed that a, “U.S. Marshall operating the machine in Orlando, Florida, courthouse had improperly-perhaps illegally-saved images of public servants and private citizens.” And that’s not the only case of this happening. Many other instances of images being saved have been reported; along with pictures being saved, over a 100 pictures of

random citizens have been leaked too, according to the Gizmodo article. Don’t worry though, you can always opt. out and receive a pat down that violates your entire

“Almost no one knows if the scanners work” body. The new pat downs have been compared to being molested by many citizens, in fact a series of law suits have been filed by people claiming to be molested by TSA agents. A Minnesota newspaper revealed cases of rape victims break down in tears because the pat downs bring flash backs of their attacks. A Fox news report revealed that, on one occasion a bladder cancer survivor had to undergo a pat down after the scanner revealed a mass, which was his urostomy bag, that takes the place of his bladder. The agents ignored his attempts to explain his condition, and during the pat down broke the bag, leaving him embarrassed and covered in urine. The agents told him he could go, “They never apologized. They never offered to help. They acted like they hadn’t seen what happened.” He was left to walk through the airport and board his plane soaked in urine. Many citizens are acting up and flying as a last resort and taking a car or bus it possible. The old

system of metal detectors was just as effective as the invasive system we have now. The negative aspects of the scanners, and how easily they can be abused go to show that the scanners aren’t worth it. Article by Mary Ellen H. Photograph by David Prasad

Did you know? Once you enter a security checkpoint you must have either a pat down or a body scan, you can’t just leave. Otherwise you face a $11,000 fine or a possible arrest.

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Vaccinations in

Nicaragua J

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ade Lindquist is currently working as a computer programmer at MDXperience, almost forty years ago Jade Lindqust traveled to Nicaragua as a volunteer for the Amigos de las Américas program. “It was eye opening because I hadn’t seen that much poverty before, nor had I been around the Latin culture,” Jade said. Amigos de las Américas is a non-profit organization that teaches college and high school students to grow as leaders and to expand their multi-cultural understanding by using community training services like Amigos de las Américas. This helps the world by bringing its volunteers into a new mind set, showing the volunteers what the rest of the world is like and how poverished it is. In the summer of 1978, Jade took a two-week trip to El Realejo, Nicaragua. This trip was arranged to help people in small villages by vaccinating them for the prevention of Measles, Diptheria,


Pertussis and Tetanus. Jade was inspired when the volunteer opportunity arised by a presentation given during her Spanish class in high school. She signed up to volunteer during her summer vacation. She was sent randomly to an area in Latin America. “The volunteers don’t get to choose where they’re placed; we were assigned countries according to the needs to the organization,” Jade said. Jade stayed in a small village, named El Realejo. She did not know what to expect there. “We stayed in the clinic which was the only building with running water in the small village of El Realejo.” Jade said. “There were coconut trees around the village and lots of mosquitoes.” Before going to Nicaragua, Jade lived in San Antonio, Texas. The village was very different compared to where Jade had come from but she adjusted as best she could. Before going to Nicaragua, Jade lived in San Antonio, Texas.

“We slept under mosquito nets but we still had lots of bites because we sat in front of the clinic in the evening and talked to the children and teenagers,” Jade said. Jade’s job was to help at the medical clinic. She traveled to small villages to vaccinate and met many local people. “We vaccinated people in small villages,” Jade said. “Some people we visited to vaccinate lived in a hut like an igloo but with just plastic around a frame of sticks.” Most of the people were very poor. They couldn’t travel to the medical clinic to get vaccinations, so the volunteers traveled to them. “Most people had dirt floors. When they swept them, they first sprinkled water onto the floor so the dirt wouldn’t go everywhere,” Jade said. “They didn’t have screens on their windows. Most houses were made out of wood with windows made of two wooden shutters.” The majority of the people did not have regular health care or even any at all. They also lived in

very unsanitary conditions, which made the vaccines even more important. “People didn’t have clean water so they drank sodas when they were thirsty,” Jade said. “People had outdoor latrines and they got their water from the river nearby. They often washed their laundry in the river.” Jade grew up in a community where the houses had indoor pluming and running water. She did not expect that people still lived in horrible conditions. The people were in Nicaragua lived in unbelievable poverty. They barely had enough money to buy food for their families. “I remember a little girl with a round belly who was suffering from malnutrition,” Jade said. “There was a lot of poverty but the children laughed and played a lot – with sticks and pebbles and whatever they could find.” Continued on page 27.

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8000Miles A Look Into the Foreign Exchange Program

J

Austin, TX skyline

ustin Nguyen was sitting at a bakery with Blakley Dancy, his host, a freshman at McCallum High School. Justin had a untouched strawberry rhubarb pie in front of him and Blakley was eyeing his key lime pie waiting for Justin to have the first bite. Justin then took his first bite of pie. Then he tried the key lime. A second later their plates switched and Justin was eating the key lime and Blakley was eating the strawberry rhubarb. “I prefer the key lime because it is closer to desserts in Vietnam. Desserts there are more savory, not so much sugar in the food as there is in the United States,” Justin explained. Whether it is the food or the culture, you learn a lot about the country you travel to. Many

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people don’t get the opportunity to immerse themselves so deeply into a language and culture like some do with a foreign exchange program. Imagine traveling over 8,000 miles to live with complete strangers for a year. It sounds like the perfect nightmare for most children. But Justin, a foreign exchange student from Vietnam, faced that nightmare. Justin is an 18-year-old enrolled at McCallum High School. He is from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and has been in the United States for about 4 months. “You get to live far away from your family, be independent, get to be so free,” Justin said, “Though I still call my family every weekend.” “There are so many dif-

ferences [between Vietnam and America]. School [in America] as well as society are totally different: better, more sociable, classes are more flexible, stricter rules for children, and a lot of outdoor activities,” Justin said. With all those differences it can be hard in school. You are doing everything, even asking the teacher for help in a second language. Especially when teachers have to grade on the same level for everybody. Foreign exchange students are not graded easier because it’s a second language. You have to keep your grades up or go home. “It really is hard. School can be difficult to keep up with and being assigned essays can be a huge pain, but don’t be scared away. Teachers will still help if you come to them and tell them you


don’t understand something,” Justin said. Think back to your first day of kindergarten when you said or did something wrong because you didn’t know better and everyone laughed at you. It happens to everyone and can be embarrassing when you make a mistake like that in a foreign country with people you have only known for a couple of months. “One of the first times I spoke to him he was talking about a guy he met, and was describing them based on color. In Vietnam there’s no like racial differences like every one’s just equal there so he used to describe people by like race and stuff and I had to let him know to try and avoid that, because that can get...sticky,” said Blakley Dancy, his host. Traveling the 8,000 miles a A Ho Chi Minh dry market

way from home and staying there for a year isn’t for everyone. Hosting a foreign exchange student is another way to learn about the culture of different places around the world without leaving the comfort of your own home and country. “It’s just like having another sibling in the house. It’s just a lot of fun,” Blakley said. “He’s pretty chill and just goes with everything.” Some people would be nervous about hosting a foreign exchange student. What’s Blakley’s advice? Don’t worry, people just aren’t that different from each other. “Before he came I was kinda worried about what he would think, what he would be like, if he would be someone I could get along with. Once they are here you can’t just say ‘I don’t get along with you find another house,’ you have to just deal with it if you don’t like

them. I was so glad I got someone so, just like, chill,” Blakley said. Whether you are the one traveling or the one giving the traveler a home being involved in the foreign exchange program is an experience that stays with you. It’s not for everyone. As a host you have to be open to the possibility of getting stuck with someone you don’t like or don’t understand. As an exchange student you are throwing your self in the deep end of another culture and trying to get the most out of it. “I would definitely recommend the program to everyone. Nothing is quite like this experience and no school can teach you so much about another place,” Justin said. Article by Mary Ellen H.. Photographs (L-R) ThatOtherPaper, Flickr; Diva Eva, Flickr

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The Man Behind the

BEARD Odyssey Issue 1 17


Stretch of mountainess land in Afghanistan.

M

ost Americans don’t worry about potential bombings or kidnappings on a daily basis, but for Steven Haskett, this is a normal feeling. Steven works in the field of biometrics, the identification of a person’s features, such as fingerprints, irises, and faces, often times traveling to Afghanistan or Iraq to help write systems for their governments. He faces both the difficulties and benefits of being in a workplace in another country who’s culture is so different than our own. Even getting to work each day in Kabul, Afghanistan, is a challenge. This city is less developed than many, and although they have attempted some innovations like installing traffic lights along roads, the streets are still jammed because no one understands what any of the signs mean. Steven commutes into work, passing trucks,

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buses, cars, donkey carts, bicycles, three wheelers, goat herds, sheep, man-pushed carts, all crammed in within an inch of one another.

“Just commuting in from where we live to downtown is an adventure every morning and evening,”

Steven says. Working with Afghans is much different than working with Americans. Some differences are hard for Steven to work with, like the fact that in Afghanistan women and men aren’t allowed to work together. However, he and his work group have found ways to cooperate and find compromises with

their government and employees. They are allowed to work with women, but understand that the Afghans prefer to keep their genders separate. “If somebody can produce reports on a computer, we don’t care if they’re guys, gals, robots. I mean we don’t care; we just need to get the work done, and that’s what we care about,” Steven says. He faces other work complications, too. For example, it is not socially correct for a man to admit that he doesn’t know something, so when Steven goes to interview potential employees, he has to word his questions in a way that he can get an honest answer out of the interviewee without culturally upsetting them. “It’s not a normal work situation at all, and what we’ve done, what we’ve tried to do, is be sensitive to their cultural needs [and] be clear about our cultural needs.” Working in Afghanistan, Steven is subject to having his life at risk more than most Americans, mostly because of the frequent bombings and attacks in the city he works in. For example, one grocery store that he visited often was bombed a year ago. He and his work friends always have to consider how badly they need whatever product they are looking for. The stores that “cater” to Westerners, meaning those who supply products that American stores would supply, are stores more likely to be bombed because of the tension be-


cause of the tension between Western life and traditional life in this country. “It’s always this trade-off over there between how convenient or how badly do I want it, say ketchup,” Steven says. “That adds another kind of dimension to daily life; you’re always having to think about what are the risks, [and] what are the rewards.” Despite these dangers, Steven still goes out into the city more than most of his work friends do. “First of all, I’m a people person, and second of all, I’m probably a more risk taker than the average person.” Steven doesn’t have a problem with trying out new foods and getting to know the locals. In this way, he’s become closer to a lot of the local people and has

formed long lasting relationships with them. And the Afghans take their relationships with people seriously; they invite you to meet their parents, their family, to their weddings. If an Afghan has taken responsibility for a person, they will do absolutely anything to keep them safe. “Its not a fair weather friend kind of thing,” Steven says. Steven has also grown closer to many locals because of his appreciation of their culture. He asks questions about them and is sensitive towards their differences. The fact that he has an enormously long beard dispels any American stereotypes that the Afghans might have about him, helping them become more comfortable with him. “People come over to talk to me, everywhere in the world,

by the way, not just Afghanistan, people come over to talk to me just so they can ask questions about the beard.” Steven experiences the differences between the American and Afghan culture every day. “I think it’s just important for everybody to remember...that everybody that goes over there is making sacrifices that probably most people in their regular day job would never even consider doing in terms of risk and hours and everything else.” It’s hard for him to be away from his family and friends for such long periods at a time, but he enjoys his work and realizes the importance of getting it done. Article by Sofia Kennedy, Photographs by Andrew Michael Smith

Young child living in the Paktika Province in Afghanistan.

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Vive la

W

France

hat makes a 15 year old French girl of Chinese-American descent say no to cigarettes? “I hardly ever see teens smoke in the US but in France nearly all my friends do,” Martha said. Neither Martha nor her parents are part of the twenty-seven percent of people who smoke in France.1 “Perhaps the fact that Martha’s mother came in third in the New York City Marathon, has some influence on Martha’s decision not to smoke,” said Jade Lindquist, Martha’s aunt. Smoking is just one of the many differences between the French and American cultures. Last year Martha Lee had the opportunity to stay with her aunt Karen in San Francisco, California.

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Through this experience, she was able to understand her mother’s culture a little better. “When I see my friends in Paris we almost always go sit down, have a coffee and talk,” Martha said. “We also go in the big shops on the Champs Elysees, or the Galeries Lafayette and just look around.” In France, often times people walk from place to place instead of driving in cars since everything is relatively close to everything else. Martha also enjoys going walking around the Tuileries Garden with her friends since they meet close to the park. “In the U.S. high schools or at least in mine we usually had the same hours every day and the same

classes. In France, not every day is the same,” Martha said. “You may start at 10 on Monday and at 8 on Tuesday.” On average in France schools start at around 9:00am and end at 4:30pm, with a 90 minute to two hour lunch break in. In addition to having Saturday and Sunday off, the French take off Wednesday from school as well, allowing them to have 4 day school weeks. Martha mentioned that she usually gets about two hours of homework every night, which was a little more than what she was given in the US. Martha finds the teachers in France to be much stricter than the teachers in the US. “Our teachers in France are also very different from the ones in the US. Usually


“My most cherished moments from France would be the time I’ve spent with my friends.” when they give you your papers back, for example, they’ll say the grades in front of the whole class and if the grade is bad they’ll add a nasty comment.” While the may seem rude from an American perspective, the way the French greet each other is quite friendly. “I’ll just mention that in the US a lot of people hug each other to say hello,” Martha said. “In France we always kiss on both cheeks whether it’s your closest friend or someone you just met.” Living arrangements are also different in France. “In Paris nearly everyone has an apartment,” Martha said. Paris has about one sixth of France’s population, about 10

million people, which is why most people there live in apartments. That is why friends go out when they get together; the apartments do not have much room. Paris is similar to New York City which has about 8 million people in just 305 square miles. Another similarity between France and the U.S. is that families tend to be around the same size. “Most people I know have one or two kids, three or four is maybe the maximum,” Martha said. This is one thing that is similar between the two countries. Both the US and France on average have about two to four kids per family. “There’s not a lot of festivals

in Paris that come back at the same time every year,” Martha said. “There is what we call la Fete de la Musique (The Festival of Music) which is ever year on June 21st,” Martha said. “There a lot of concerts that night and in almost every quartier (quarter) there are musicians playing outside.” Paris’s Fete de la Musique is like Austin’s Austin City Limits which also is an annual event. The only difference is the Fete de la Musique is that it is only one night compared to Austin City Limits which can go on for a few days. Continued on page 27.

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Racial Profiling Appearance

isn’t Everything

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Racial profiling is a law enforcement method that is based on opinion and prejudice, which is statically inaccurate and v iolates indiv iduals’ legal rights, so law enforcement officials should not use it. According to a 2004 study by Amnesty International, racial profiling is “the targeting of indiv iduals and groups by law enforcement officials, even par tially, on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, or religion, except where there is trustwor thy information, relevant to the locality and timeframe that links persons belonging to one of the aforementioned groups to an identified criminal incident or scheme.”

T

he majority of the time when a police officer or patrol guard uses racial profiling it has been proven to be inaccurate or at least no more accurate than random questioning or searches of all races and ethnicities. Racial profiling is used because it is thought to be right and helpful for finding criminals, although statistics show differently. An American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawsuit uncovered that “73% of suspects pulled over between the

years 1995 and 1997 were black, black suspects that were no more likely to actually have drugs or illegal weapons in their cars than white suspects.” The government security depends too much upon racial profiling and its outcomes. Since the attack of 9/11, Middle-eastern-looking individuals have been looked upon in a suspicious manner and have been suspected of terrorist acts, even when they have not done anything wrong. However, past events have

shown that people of all races, not just Middle-Eastern people, have performed terrorists’ acts. As pointed out in a New York Times blog post: “Terrorists don’t fit a profile and cannot be plucked out of crowds by computers. They’re European, Asian African, Hispanic and Middle-Eastern, male and female, young and old.” Using racial profiling, law enforcement would be no more likely to find terrorist than not using it. In March, 2002, The New

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“...be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”

the New Work Times “that a 1997 investigation by New Jersey police of their own practices found that ‘turnpike drivers who agreed to have their cars searched by the state police were overwhelming black and Hispanic.’” Racial profiling is based on opinion, not facts or evidence. An individual profile can easily be based on someone’s personal prejudice or racism, causing them to suspect one race more than another, or to assume certain races or ethnicities are guilty until proven innocence. Under U.S. law, police need

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“probable cause” to stop an individual and a “warrant” to search their vehicle, residence or person. In the case of racial profiling, as noted in Reason magazine in August/ September 2001, “… before having evidence of a particular crime, police set out intending to investigate a high proportion of people of some particular race, ethnic group, age group, or so on. Their only justification is that by doing so, they increase their chances of discovering some crimes.” Racial profiling violates the laws of probable cause and warrants

as well as the Fourth Amendment. Under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, it is written that all American citizens, regardless of race or ethnicity, have the right to “be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” Along with being very unlawful, racial profiling is very offensive and rude to many people. Many people argue that racial profiling should be prohibited even if it jeopardizes our safety. Continued on page 26.


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Continued... Back Against The Wall Continued

fence only proves to Mexico that the only way we know how to handle our problems is to block and isolate them from our lives. The U.S. acts as if our neighbors are our enemies, but Mexico is not the only source of the tension at the border fence as many people believe; our country is the source of it as well. Michael Chertoff, the homeland security secretary, said in an interview with the New York Times, “I don’t believe the fence is a cure-all. Nor do I believe it is a waste. Yes, you can get over it; yes, you can get under it. But it is a useful tool that

makes it more difficult for people to cross. It is one of a number of tools we have, and you’ve got to use all of the tools.” But we shouldn’t use a tool that has caused so many problems in our country. The U.S. blocked out entire families, homes, and properties when it built this fence. Something that has caused so much controversy within the nation should have been thought about more carefully and reconsidered by the government.

Racial Profiling: Apperance isn’t Never. Just because someone is IsEverything Continued lamic, Muslim, or Middle-Eastern certainly does not mean that they ...Under the United States Consti- are trying to perform a terrorist tution, every person has the right act. Just because someone is black to equal protection regardless of does not mean that they are more race, ethnicity, religion or origin. likely to perform a criminal act. When is it ever fair to judge some- Case studies and statistical one by the color of his or her skin research show that racial profiling tone, ethnicity, religion or origin? is inaccurate, bias and unlawful. Its

use violates the laws of probable cause and warrants and the rights of individuals under the Fourth Amendment. Therefore, it should not be used by law enforcement under any circumstance.

...U.S. because of a higher chance to earn a better income. According to a Central Intelligence Agency report, Mexico’s GDP per capita is $13,900, one third that of the U.S. The $6.5 billion invested into the construction and maintenance of the U.S.-Mexico fence would be put to better use if we had used it to help Mexico meet the needs of its country. This would have helped to solve the root of the illegal immigration problem. The construction of the

26 Odyssey Issue 1

Article by Sofia Kennedy Photograph by Marcello Di Cintio

Article by Erin Newman-Mitchell Photograph byEric Constantineau


Tourism: Mexico’s Best Friend or Mortal Enemy Continued

U.S. or in France or anywhere else, friendships are still the same.” In the future Martha wants to study design at one of the biggest design schools in France, however she is still undecided about which one she would like

to attend. Martha wonders, if she would have been as interested in design if she had not been born in the fashion capital of the world.

Vaccinations in Nicaragua Contin- different people. ued “I fell in love with my guide, Mateo, who took us from village to village ...Jade had not experienced any of and I ended up studying Spanish the Latin culture before she went at the university,” Jade said. “We to Nicaragua. She was born in New didn’t end up marrying because York and then moved to Ohio. Al- Mateo started drinking and I knew though she did study Spanish in that people who had addictions high school. weren’t available for a relationship.” “…I had never been around the Although Jade liked the people, Latin culture. I liked the warmth she recognized that their poverty and friendliness of the Latin cul- created a lot of problems in their ture,” Jade said. “It changed my lives. life.” “[They were] warm and friendly She liked the people that she met but I also heard that some men in Nicaragua. She visited many vil- also beat their wives,” Jade said. lages and made friends with many Despite their problems and pov-

erty, Jade found the people of Nicaragua really cared about each other. They helped each other out and shared what they had. “A few people, like the owners of the corner store, had electricity. Friends would gather there in the evening to watch TV,” Jade said. Jade really enjoyed her experience in Nicaragua and learned a lot about the people and culture. She plans to return again.

...“My most cherished moments from France would be the time I’ve spent with my friends,” Martha said. “Whether you are in the

Article by Elissa Lindquist-Sher Photographs by Martha Lee

Article by Erin Newman-Mitchell Phtograph by Elissa Lindquist-Sher

...stories Odyssey Issue 1 27


Cover Photograph by Fransisco Diez

28 Odyssey Issue 1


Odyssey