Katrina and Race

Katrina has sparked a subject that I really do not like discussing. Along with other subjects like religion and politics, they seem to divide people instead of uniting them. I really dislike any kind of subject that ends up making people draw lines in the sand instead of erasing them. I have read many articles that give all kind of opinions in all kinds of subjects related to tragedy that Katrina has become. I recommend that you read this article in its entirety but if you don’t have the time, I will try to highlight here what really touched me about it.

“I hope we realize that the people of New Orleans weren’t just abandoned during the hurricane,” Sen. Barack Obama said last week on the floor of the Senate. “They were abandoned long ago—to murder and mayhem in the streets, to substandard schools, to dilapidated housing, to inadequate health care, to a pervasive sense of hopelessness.”

If you don’t know who Barak Obama is please take note, we might be witnessing the beginning of the political career of the first Black president (even though he is actually mixed). He is a senator from Illinois that is not just smart but also very human in his delivery. I have seen him speak a couple of times and he does amaze me. He has been very eloquent through the Katrina incident and has been able to deliver the message that Kanye West made look like a 3rd graders rant. The article talks about how inequality and poverty are in the raise in our country and how it took this disaster for a lot of people to take another look at images that we only attached to third world countries.

The article also digs deeper into the race subject in an easy to understand way.

Harvard’s Loury argued in a 2002 book, “The Anatomy of Racial Inequality,” that it’s this stereotyping and “racial stigma,” more than overt racism, that helps hold blacks in poverty. Loury explains a destructive cycle of “self-reinforcing stereotypes” at school and work. A white employer, for instance, may make a judgment based on prior experience that the young black men he hires are likely to be absent or late for work. So he supervises them more closely. Resenting the scrutiny, the African-Americans figure that they’re being disrespected for no good reason, so they might as well act out, which in turn reinforces their boss’s stereotype. Everybody goes away angry.

Such problems are often less about race than class, which has become a huge factor within the black community, too. It’s hard for studious young African-Americans to brave the taunts that they’re “acting white.” The only answer to that is a redoubled effort within the black community to respect academic achievement and a commitment by white institutions to use affirmative action not just for middle-class minorities but for the poor it was originally designed to help.

I cannot tell you how many times I have been accused of “acting white” by Black or Hispanic people. I have even been called a sell out because I try to speak proper English and feel like getting dressed in a suit and tie is a good thing. I have experienced racism and I have argued with people before that tell me that it was just a misunderstanding or that it was not a case of racism in one way or another. Michigan, believe it or not has treated me pretty good. The city I live in, Midland has been very kind to me and I have only experienced a few incidents. I have however experienced racism in many levels back in Chicago and you would think that the big city would be a little less racist but it is not the case.

Whether you agree or disagree by what it is said in this article is not the issue. We need to face the reality that we have people suffering in our own back yard. It is sad that we live in a country that is letting so many bad things happen, I hope we can stop playing babysitter to the world and start being a parent to our own country.

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Long Weekend

This weekend ended up being a 3 day weekend due to a little cold that kicked my butt. I am not sure why I have gotten sick more often lately but it seems my immune system is not what it used to be, it could be age, it could be all the stress at work. I am going to remember to take my vitamins and get into some kind of exercise program that I can stick to.

Friday I stayed up pretty late playing my latest addiction, CounterStrike:Source. It is one of the games that came with HalfLife 2 and even though it is a temporary addiction in preparation for the LanParty that is coming up this weekend, it has been fun. I enjoy video games quite a bit, but I like spending time with my family more than fragging people online. I have also gotten a little better at Unreal Tournament 2004, which will be the other game played at the Lan.

Saturday we went to a little multicultural gathering at the Tridge in Downtown Midland. I was disappointed that there was no food like the flyer that we got from Tyler’s school advertised. There was one stand that had a mixture of foods from the countries but I hardly consider Nachos an authentic Mexican dish. They had dance performances that were cool, but we did not bring the camera so there is not much to see except a pic from the camera phone.

That night we had a 25th wedding anniversary party to attend to, but I was already not feeling too good. I have been having horrible allergies every morning and I felt all day like I had some kind of stomach bug. We had a good time at the party and got home sometime around 1.

Sunday was supposed to be home repair day. We had some loose bathroom tiles and a leaky elbow joint in one of the sinks. I thought it would be easy enough to take care of it in the afternoon, but it was a big mistake… I got the parts that I needed to fix the bathroom come to find out that when I touched one of the pipes to remove it and tried to turn it, it simply crumbled cutting me pretty deep into my thumb. Blood can be scandalous, the cut while deep was not too bad and is healing quite nicely and after Cielo patched me up we were able to get the rest of the parts and finish the job.

Yesterday I woke up not feeling too good and even though I tried to get going to see if I could feel better it only got worse. So I stayed home and got some rest still not able to get away from work I did check my e-mail and did a couple of work things… tried to relax and get some liquids in but just felt sick all day. Today it is a lot better even though I still feel sick, it is manageable and work will have me back on full swing.

The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test

Found this wacky test over at Barry’s… let me know your results!

Pure Nerd
52 % Nerd, 21% Geek, 4% Dork
For The Record:A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.

The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally
smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up
all of the traits and tendences associated with the “dork.” No-longer.
Being smart isn’t as socially crippling as it once was, and even more
so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be
replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.



My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

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You scored higher than 39% on nerdiness
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You scored higher than 19% on geekosity
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You scored higher than 0% on dork points

Katrina: People and Pet Finders

Looking around the web after hearing on NPR that there is no reliable database at the moment to find Katrina survivors, not even between rescue centers, I thought I would search and post links to what I found. Hopefully the search engines start picking stuff up, right now it seems like a big mess… is it too much to ask for a katrina dot google dot com?

Katrina Wiki (Links to all resources)
Yahoo’s Katrina Multi Database Search
Red Cross’ Locate your relative

Good Luck.

If you find a better resource, post a comment.

“Paisas” and Koreans?

I love all kinds of ethnic food, my favorite being of course Colombian. I have to say that Oriental food also ranks up there with Hispanic food. I love Mexican and Spanish dishes, but some Korean and Chinese dishes are just out of this world. Yesterday on a night out to dinner, I encountered a food similarity that I thought was only a Colombian thing, and more specifically a “Paisa” thing. “Paisas” is what we call the people that live in the Antioquia region of Colombia. One of the famous dishes from this region is called “Bandeja Paisa” which consists of beans, steak, chicharron, arepa and rice. It is topped with a fried egg on the rice. Something I had never seen another culture do until I had Bi Bim Bap yesterday.

I have had Korean food before, I love KimChi and Jajang Myun is one of my favorite dishes in the world, but I had never had Bi Bim Bap until yesterday. And guess what, they also put a fried egg on top of their meal. Interesting… isn’t it. I have also found similarities of Colombian food with other far away places like Poland and some dishes being very similar despite the distance.

So, do you guys have a favorite ethnic dish?