Where To Invade Next

As a Douglass woman, I am able to join the Global Village program in the Jameson Residence Hall. Each house in the Global Village gets a chance to travel and is fully funded. I am in the Women, Media, and Technology house and we took a trip to New York City for three days and visited various sites. We visited Women’s E-News headquarters, the Agitprop exhibition in the Brooklyn Museum, a feminist artists’s personal studio, and met the Feminist Press. I’ve learned a lot on this trip, especially the importance of women in society and media in history and today. Feminism invites people to open their minds to new innovative ideas and is always inclusive. That is my short blurb on feminism and my thoughts, but I’d like to point out something very important that I witnessed on my trip.

Although all the sites we visited were really inspirational, the most mind boggling experience I witnessed was watching the documentary, Where To Invade Next, a film by Michael Moore. For those that have seen his other films, you know that this documentary is pretty epic already. I haven’t seen any of his films, so you must imagine this one caught me by surprise. He “invades” various countries and “steals” their governmental ideas to take back to the states. A lot of the topics he touched on like: education, prison, capital punishment, paid vacation, paid maternity, women presidents and CEOs, free tuition colleges, and many more. I could go on and on about this documentary, but I feel that one specific topic is of the utmost importance to talk about during this time in American society.

In Germany there was once dictatorship and communism. A man named Hitler created the Nazi political party and massacred innocent people because of their faith and the way they looked. They were treated like scum and brutally murdered in camps. After Hitler was stopped, the world was very angry with all Germans for a while because of their “contribution” to the world’s history.

Today, children of Germany from as young as eight years old learn about Nazism and what their ancestors did. They are taught that what was done was wrong and should never occur again. They are taught to recognize that they have a fault in history and they have the opportunity to make things better. Their textbooks include all information of Nazis and what they did. Their history isn’t covered up or erased for future generations. Throughout Germany there are plaques on streets of families that were murdered and in front of some houses are plaques of the families that used to live there before they were taken into camps to be murdered. They are reminded of their wrongdoings and honor and remember the lives that were taken away.

I started crying at this point, because I think about the country I live in and how even though we’re the great Unites States of America, we’re actually not so great on this topic. I don’t see a reminder of our history with slaves. They don’t elaborate on what slavery was back in the day. People don’t spend a lot of time teaching about how hard the fight for civil rights was and anti-segregation, they just mention it here and there. You won’t really learn about it until you either get to college and take a history class and/or major in history (or research on your own, but who’s going to encourage you?). Are there statues or plaques in memory of the slaves that were brutally punished and later on murdered their whole lives while in the America? No. No. No. Yes, we don’t have slavery anymore. Okay ten points for America. Yes, all citizens can vote including people of color and minorities, another ten points for America! But wait, racism still exists and black people are still treated unfairly in society, America you just lost your 20 points.

Sadly, there are still racist Americans and there is police brutality going on throughout the country. Another unfortunate event is that this has probably been going on for years but hasn’t reached the surface of media until three WOMEN started a movement. There are videos of police treating black people unfairly and brutally as proof. Children aren’t taught to recognize this as a fault in our own history and that this should never happen again and that black people and all other immigrants are people too. They are to be treated equally and justly.

Thanks to my opportunity to have a college education and attending a diverse school like Rutgers University, I have learned about a lot of topics, including how much rich history there is in black people. They have contributed so much to today’s society and technology. But I believe that children before they reach college, should learn all of this and recognize this fault. I still am a proud American citizen, but I’m disappointed in how other Americans can be so closed-minded and not let go of immoral values of history and teach future generations to be better and treat everyone equally.

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