Arturo Uruena

Professor Ramos

English 1B

10 October, 2018

                                               Equality in the eyes of minorities

 

While growing up in the United States I was introduced to the American way of life, according to what the school systems taught me, this was the best country on the planet. Growing up in Foster care I was exposed to a harsher reality where your voice, opinion, and feelings did not matter to anyone, including the social workers that were designated to each child to monitor and help them through this “ temporary” state of being. While in middle school I came across a rap artist named Immortal Technique who did not fit the typical rapper stereotype. He did not flaunt money as a means of success and the topics of his music were more in depth than what was being played on the radio or shown on the TV. Immortal technique was considered an underground rapper which meant he was not on TV or on the radio due to the owners of stations not giving just anyone an opportunity for their voice or opinions to be listened to by the masses of people considered to be their audience. Nevertheless Immortal Technique went through the same school system as I did and went on to go to college, as an immigrant from Peru he was able to decipher what was reality and what was only propaganda from the U.S. His lyrics then became vivid pictures of the atrocities that this country has taken part of and continues to do so.    

The song that impacted me as a youth the most is from Immortal Technique called “ Harlem Streets” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWAyux_yvng  . This song is not one just to listen one time, for every time you listen to the song you can peel another layer of the picture he’s trying  to paint. The song starts off with “ Harlem streets stay flooded in white powder like those motherfuckers running away from the twin towers” This first line gives us insight to his reality, he was around during the drug era that changed many people’s lives, a witness to all the unfortunate people who got hooked on the drugs and ended their lives and he compares it to when the twin towers fell and how it flooded the city with toxic white powder. The next line says “gunshots rock the earth like a meteor shower bowling for Columbine, fair, giving the media power innocence devoured like a chicken spot snack box government cocaine cooked into ghetto crack rock”. On this line he starts to delve into the columbine shooting documentary called “Bowling for Columbine” in this documentary it shows numerous cases and situations where the NRA was responsible for many different killings, one example is in Michigan a certain bank branch was advertising a free rifle with a qualifying deposit, it’s probably not the smartest thing in the world to hand out guns at a bank. He makes mention of government cocaine cooked into ghetto crack rocks, this has a huge implication in regards to the huge difference in rich and poor peoples drug habits, you can get the same sentencing for a gram of crack cocaine that you would for about 18 grams of regular cocaine. The crack cocaine is primarily used by poor black and latinos.

“crooked cops false testimony at your arraignment check to check constant struggle to make the payments” In this country there is an issue with corruption within the justice system and many people have had to deal with this as a reality, where cops have made false testimonies in court to have someone unjustly incarcerated. If you can’t afford a lawyer whether your black, white, or hispanic, your odds of getting a just sentence is very small. He makes mention on how some families actually live check to check which is a constant struggle to make ends meet. The poor community doesnt have alot of money to afford a well rounded education by prestige schools, instead there taught the most basic material by poorly paid teachers. The next line continues saying “ Working your whole life wondering where the day went, the subway stays packed like a multicultural slave ship, it’s Rush Hour 2:30 to 8 non stopping and people coming home after corporate sharecropping.” In America they have decided to divide its citizens day by 3, a day is made up pf 24 hours so they say 8 hours to sleep 8 hours to work and the other 8 you can do what you please. They assume that 8 hours is enough time to enjoy your life per day, what they don’t realize is that most people that work can’t afford their own bills and are forced to work overtime which takes away from both our free time and sleep time. As the song continues is says “ And Fuck flossing, mothers are trying to feed children but gentrification is kicking them out of their building, A generation of babies born without health care families homeless thrown the fuck off the welfare.” Flossing is a slang term used to describe one’s ostentatious looks characterized by fancy jewelry and overly priced designer clothes, he says it has no real meaning if there are mothers out there trying to feed their children while gentrification is kicking people out of their buildings because they can no longer afford the continuously rising rent payment. In New York they have one of the biggest gentrification problems, where the poor are segregated from the rich and has one of the highest rates of public housing in the country.

This verse says “ They vote for us to go to war instantly but none of their kids serving the infantry the odds are stacked against us like a casino, think about it most of the army is black and latino” then shortly afters mentions this “ But you can’t read history at an illiterate stage, and you can’t raise a family on minimum wage why the fuck you think most of us are locked in a cage”. There is many points he made in these statements and plenty of cases where we can see that in his beginning statement he mentions that none of the wealthy people’s children serve as infantry, looking at statistics from a website called statista i was able to see that minorities make up 40% of the U.S Army. ( 4. Statista ) After that he goes to speak on the illiteracy rate in America and how it’s mainly minorities but they do nothing to help them, then they wonder and ask why most of the inmates in America are black and latino. “ National Assessment of Educational Progress 12th Grade Reading Level Assessment (2015), 46 percent of white students scored at or above proficient. Just 17 percent of black students and 25 percent of Latino students scored proficient.”.

In this country there seems to be a certain agenda to keep the poor in poverty and to help the rich stay rich and prosper. Just because someone was not born into a wealthy family does not make them any lesser than anyone else on this planet. As human beings we should all strive to have general wellbeing amongst us. The fact that minorities are being treated as animals in the sense of them receiving much more time on there sentencing with the law, the numerous cases where minorities have been wrongfully convicted and sentenced regardless of the undeniable proof of their innocence. (2. SALOTAROFF, PAUL) Slavery was an atrocity that was allowed for hundreds of years in this country until someone who was in the wrong realized it and made a change. Immortal Technique is an artist who chooses to uncover the dark veil hidden in American politics. Lawmakers make the laws not the citizens, He’s able to reach many people including myself to challenge what the history books say about politics and how this country began. Thanks to brave artist like Immortal Technique by choosing a different method of reaching his audience by speaking the truth of real situations they will or have encountered and shining light on the topic. It’s up to the American people as a whole to stand up for honest and genuine equality amongst humans not any specific race.” Judging people by the contents of their character not the color of their skin.  MLK.” Only then will the true beauty of humanity will be able to overcome centuries of hatred due to ethnicity.

 

                                                                   

 

                                                                             Works cited

 

  1. Levran, Orna, et al. “Drug Addiction and Stress-Response Genetic Variability: Association Study in African Americans.” Annals of Human Genetics, vol. 78, no. 4, July 2014, pp. 290–298.

          

  1. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/ahg.12064.SOLOTAROFF, PAUL. “Why Is This Man Still in Jail?” Rolling Stone, no. 1230, Mar. 2015, pp. 42–67. EBSCOhost, chaffey.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=101143901&site=ehost-live.

 

  1. BELLAFANTE, GINIA. “The Gentrification Exception.” Nation, vol. 296, no. 18, May 2013, pp. 37–40. EBSCOhost, chaffey.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=87040612&site=ehost-live.

 

  1. https://www.statista.com/statistics/214869/share-of-active-duty-enlisted-women-and-men-in-the-us-military/

 

  1. https://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/reading/

 

                                                                 Annotated Bibliography

 

  1. Levran, Orna, et al. “Drug Addiction and Stress-Response Genetic Variability: Association Study in African Americans.” Annals of Human Genetics, vol. 78, no. 4, July 2014, pp. 290–298.

In this article that i read it went into depth on how there are huge factors that go into how African Americans react to cocaine and heroin and how their genetics are more susceptible

To becoming addicted to these substances. It also talks about how the high stress that many minorities endure is another factor in the high incarceration rate, when an individual is exposed to high stress situations for prolonged amount of time they can begin to show erratic behaviour.

 

  1. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/ahg.12064.SOLOTAROFF, PAUL. “Why Is This Man Still in Jail?” Rolling Stone, no. 1230, Mar. 2015, pp. 42–67. EBSCOhost, chaffey.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=101143901&site=ehost-live.

This article is all about how false accusations are placed on minorities, in this case it was an african American who was in jail for a long time and he was innocent. Even with DNA proof of his innocence he was still in jail due to false testimonies from corrupt police in Pennsylvania. This comes to show even if your innocent this justice system was designed to have loopholes for those with money and those without are left susceptible to being wrongfully convicted without any evidence.

  1. BELLAFANTE, GINIA. “The Gentrification Exception.” Nation, vol. 296, no. 18, May 2013, pp. 37–40. EBSCOhost, chaffey.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=87040612&site=ehost-live.

This article was deeply concerned about how New York has such a huge wage gap amongst its citizens, has one of the highest population for government assisted housing, and how the system that many minorities succumb to are inevitable especially with the unfortunate reality of most their circumstances. Gentrification is where the rich force the poor out of their neighborhoods to more expensive lifestyles and people who can afford a higher standard of life. Families are forced to move to even harsher conditions which in many cases lead to breaking the law and incarceration.

 

https://www.statista.com/statistics/214869/share-of-active-duty-enlisted-women-and-men-in-the-us-military/

 

On this website i was able to see the different nationalities that make up the United states Armed forces. It showed that a little over 40% of its on duty personnel were minorities, this is almost half.

 

  1.   https://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/reading/

 

On this website i was able to see the huge difference in American children and minorities illiteracy rate. The number of 12th graders who were at a 12 grade reading level was nowhere near the global average for our country. It was almost embarrassing on how bad this countries scores were and how much money we waste as a country on other issues that dont benefit the country as much as having educated citizens.