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Archive for the category “Local Milwaukee”

Ummmm was this supposed to be funny?!?!?!

I came across the above post in my Facebook feed this past father’s day:

My first reaction was to post a response about it being racist. The more I thought about it, the more I realized the importance of language and their hidden meanings. This is something I was not really aware of several years ago in all honesty.
I started to really think about the ways in which this particular word is used and I wanted to get the input from others. I decided to repost this image on my own Facebook page and pose a question to all of those who I am friends with what they thought of the picture. As a waiting on responses I decided to write down some of my own personal reflections.
For the longest time I viewed the word ghetto not as a noun but as an adjective. Don’t get me wrong, I was fully aware that ghetto was an actual place but I feel as if it has more common use as the adjective. As a noun, I related to this word as a place where Hitler centralized the Jews during Nazis Germany and world war two. I also knew it as a place usually found in the heart of urban areas where life for those who lived there was often times a struggle and dangerous. Bit for me, I heard this word more and more often to describe pole, how they act, what they wear, what they own, the car they drive, the way their house is decorated, how they speak, etc. I used this adjective as a way to describe anyone of any race and never thought anything wrong of it. Until I went back to college to finish what I started many moons ago.
I decided to go to doctionary.com and look up the word ghetto. I was surprised to see a definition for both a noun and an adjective. For the noun we have the following four definitions;
– A section of a city, especially a thickly populated slum area, inhabited predominantly by members of an ethnic or other minority group, often as a result of social or economic restrictions, pressures, or hardships.
– (Formerly, in most European countries) a section of a city in which all Jews were required to live.
– A section predominantly inhabited by Jews.
– Any mode of living, working, etc., that results from stereotyping or biased treatment: job ghettos for women; ghettos for the elderly.

Now for the definition of the word ghetto when used as an adjective:
– Pertaining to or characteristic of life in a ghetto or the people who live there: ghetto culture.
– Often Disparaging and Offensive. noting something that is considered to be unrefined, low-class, cheap, or inferior: Her furniture is so ghetto!
This one little e-card post has gotten made my brain go into overdrive. As I write this, the jury is deliberating in the Zimmerman trial. A young African American boy, just 17 years old lost his life to a neighborhood vigilante. This vigilante had an unassuming last name; Zimmerman, yet he is a man who shares something with the young Travon and that is that he too, is a minority. The difference as that being half of Latin decent and half white, with lighter skin and a European last name.
As people discuss this extremely sad and tragic event, the topic of race has become very important. I have read a few articles on the internet and I also have read a lot of commentary from individuals who use their first amendment right to voice their opinion. I realize that when it comes to the internet there is a certain amount of trolling that happens just to get individuals fired up. I also realize that there are even more people who hide behind the anniminoty of the internet to speak truly what is on their mind. This is what strikes fear into me.
The fear comes from realizing that my ideas of race relations has been shattered into a million pieces. I thought we were further along as a country when it came to equality when it comes to minorities, but we aren’t. Sure there are things in place that try to even the playing field for all but there are even bigger things in place that keep things status quo with whites males on top and all others below them. It is true that places can’t discriminate or segregate but that doesn’t mean that there are ways in which we are all predisposition to think and act. What I have realized is that no matter your race, your gender, your sexuality or your geographical location, when we are born we do not see color. We do not see material things. We do not yet understand these complex ideas nor are we acting them out. What new, young eyes see is an individual. One who might feed them when they cry out in hunger or hold them when they are scared.
As we grow we take in the actions and the comments around us. We might not realize it in the moment, we can look back at our younger years and see exactly how physical location of where we live, where we go to school and where we play do in fact have an impact on how we view other people regardless of race, gender, creed, or sexuality. This is why we might take certain vocabulary and use it in a way in which we think is rather innocent and not realize how it might negatively affect another person because it is what is considered normal. This is what I think is key.
I will take this key to open up a new door next time. My brain and ideas need to try and sleep.

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Failed Co-Sleeping

It seems that every time I turn on the news or go online to local news sites there is a story about the death of a baby contributed to co-sleeping.  The response for the past several years has been public service announcements and billboards trying to discourage the act all together.  Unfortunately it seems that these PSA’s are not rectifying the situation much.

Just a month or two ago Milwaukee unveiled their newest campaign against co-sleeping.  There are two different AD’s and each shows a baby sleeping with a large knife.  They are on fluffy blankets and surrounded by big fluffy pillows.  Across the top it reads, “Your baby sleeping with you can be just as dangerous.”

At the end of 2009 there was another campaign that showed an adult bed.  There are some pillows and blankets on the bed and the head board resembles that of a tombstone.  In the tombstone it read, “For too many babies last year, this was their final resting place.” 

As I was doing some research for this post I came across another campaign that showed either a mattress or couch on the side of the road.  On it is an orange silhouette of a child.  Each one has its one separate statement.  One says, “It’s time to wake up to the dangers of sleeping with a baby here and babies who sleep here don’t always wake here.”

I understand that messages that the city wants to convey, however it appears that they are falling on deaf ears.  It seems like I am hearing more and more about the death of babies due to co-sleeping and the issue is not getting better but worse. 

I strongly feel that making co-sleeping the enemy alienates a lot of people from feeling comfortable about getting the facts on how to do so properly.  Many people from different cultures have co-slept and done so in a safe way.  When I was having issues with my daughter and getting very little sleep our family doctor stated that even thought she can not advocate for co-sleeping she said there are times when you just have to try everything that works for you.  She advised us of what not to do, (drinking, medication, etc) and took keep all pillows, fluffy blankets off the bed. 

My husband and I tried it and hated it.  We were too nervous to fall sleep.  We just dealt with things as best we could.  Co-sleeping did not work for us, but that does not mean its some horrible enemy that the city is making it out to be.

I think the better alternative, that might actually HELP save babies is that the city needs to offer literature and education on safe co-sleeping.  They can stress all they want that sleeping in a crib or bassinet is the safest place for a baby but if a person decides to co-sleep then here are the tools to do it in the safest way possible.

The city of Milwaukee needs to wake up and stop ignoring the other side of the story when it comes to co-sleeping.  They need to stop playing the fear game because this tactic has proven not to work.  Instead, the city should be teaming up with co-sleeping advocates to help come up with an alternative campaign that addresses that co-sleeping can be dangerous but can also be done safely and the best thing a person can do is educate themselves on which option is best for them and their baby.

Teen arrested in assault after students kicked off bus

 

So yet another story of some kids being rowdy and disrespectful and abusive to innocent bystanders.  It was this past July 4th when we heard about the gang of young people assaulting people at a park after the fireworks and then looting the gas station on Humboldt and North (mind you about a mile from where I live).  Then there was the State Fair park incident.  Now we have this incident.

I first thought the issued was with the parents of these kids.  Obviously they didn’t learn any type of respect from their parents.  Well I started to think how I was as a young person.  I had my issues.  I would be loud and curse thinking I was cool.  However I never assaulted anyone or destroyed property.  When my friends and I gathered as a group we never bullied or harassed people.  We never threatened them.

When the parents started to turn in their own kids for their obnoxious behavior I knew that their parents were not to blame; at least not solely.  So I got to wondering more about what the issue is.

My theory is that kids today are growing up in hopeless system.  They see their parents work multiple jobs yet still struggle to make ends meet.  They see elected officials abuse their power.  The people they look up to like sports figures or musicians buy their way out of everything.  Kids today do not know what true reality is anymore when they are surrounded with “reality” TV like the Kardashians, Jersey Shore, Teen Mom, etc. 

When I look back on how I grew up I know I wasn’t perfect.  I did things that disappointed my parents but most of the time it was at my own expense.  I was made to look the fool, or be humiliated or hurt.  They few times I did hurt an individual my parents made me feel horrible about it.  Maybe a lot of it has to do was that I was always the person getting picked on.  Not to the extent that we see kids being bullied today but I just knew I never wanted a person to feel bad because of me.   I never wanted my parents to be disappointed in me.  When I was upset or frustrated with what I saw I spoke up, or tried to get involved or kept it to myself and found other outlets like art and music to vent my frustrations.  For me, I knew what consequences were not just for me but for others that come in my path.  As I get older, I have an understanding that everything is interconnected.  i had this understanding as a kid too, maybe not as in depth as i do today but it was there.  Today, this seems to be gone.

It has been said it takes a village to raise a child.  So what do we do as a society to combat this issue?  How do we help these young people focus their energy into something that can make a difference?  We as adults must set the example.  No longer do we turn our heads away when their is an injustice, no longer do we immediately react with violence, instead, we stop, take a breath, analyze the situation and think of consequences.  Think about how our actions will affect the interconnectedness of the universe and last forever. 

Only if we all lead by example will the youth be able to see there is a better way to live, to react, to think.  Only then will they see that they can take the negative feelings and energy and turn it into something positive.

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