Humcore Coming to an End

This is my final blog post for Humanities Core and I will write about my experience throughout the year. During the fall quarter, I heard rumors about how difficult Humanities Core is and wanted to avoid the class as much as possible. Unfortunately, I am a humanities major which means I am forced to take the course.

During the fall quarter, I learned how to analyze images and paintings, which actually interested me. Being able to tell the story or meaning the artist was attempting to portray through the style of their work was somewhat mesmerizing for me. Being able to analyze an image was useful for me and my major, which requires me to find the meaning of films through there visuals.

Thomas Cole painting The Course of Empire: Desolation

When winter quarter came up I was excited to know that we would be learning about Inca and Spanish colonization because as a Latina I would be learning about my history. The winter theme about colonization also gave me a better understanding of the consequences and traumas from being colonized. I was able to read both sides and interpretations of Spanish colonization in South America. Going over Gandhi’s book was eye-opening to Eastern lifestyle and I was able to interpret Britain’s Orientalism in India because of what I learned during the fall quarter.

This spring got more specific with violence and power over specific races and nations. We started off discussing black people’s treatment during the start of the slave trade and now we are currently analyzing Middle Eastern nations and religion. At first, I was a little hesitant to purchase a ticket for the play, Poor Yella Rednecks, but after I watched it I was pleased that it was our assignment because having a live visual about what we were learning gave me a better understanding of the topic. Many students never get the opportunity to see a professional play and having the privilege to watch one was a memorable experience.

My favorite paper throughout Humanities Core has to be the oral history paper because I got to turn in a video instead of a paper. Finally, the class was interesting to me and even better I got to interview someone with who I can relate to. Going into this research project though has been a struggle for me because I didn’t know what to focus on as my artifact. Luckily, I was able to figure out a topic about social media and the pressures of it. I was hoping to create a video with this project as well, but I will probably stick with a paper.

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This course is a lot tougher than expected and stays true to its rumors, but I have learned a lot of skills and techniques that will be necessary for the future. Having a variety of professors kept the class alive because they would have different forms of lecturing. I would encourage incoming freshmen to take the course because it covers a lot of GE’s and will give a true college classroom experience.

Who is Recognized in Memorials?

In class, we discussed if whether or not people should forget the past or move on. This brought up many interesting thoughts, that opened up my mind to more perspectives on monuments, memorials and holidays. For example, my Professor mentioned that memorials like the Holocaust ones not only recognize the victims, but also the Nazi’s. Does humanity need to acknowledge the horrific parts of our history, if so how do we do it only mentioning the victims and heroes?

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Media often struggles with censoring the bad guy and the offender is often the headline in the news rather than the victims. This allows for the culprit to get their five minutes of fame, but we need to learn how to filter the news to not let this occur. People encourage never to mention the culprits’ name cause they do not matter and to only notice the victim or hero’s in events. When mass shootings occur in today’s media the news avoids mentioning the culprits’ name, which a new direction of news coverage.

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There is a way to avoid any form of acknowledgment of the offenders, but that would require moving past the event. Forgetting the past is a conflicting problem because it would mean that the harm victims went through will never be noticed. I believe that people should acknowledge the event, but not dwell so much into it. By recognizing a horrific event one can learn not to repeat the same crimes or mistakes. History books teach us not to create another war because it can destroy the planet. Memorials are meant for the victims and heroes, but in some way, the offenders will also be recognized. This is not always a negative though since it teaches people not to repeat horrific events.

The film industry has many movies and shows about specific historical moments and their purpose is to recreate the events. Why recreate it? There is a debate about whether or not films teach history. Movies do tell stories, but the majority of them are fiction. The film industry uses traumatic history events to sell stories and these stories help the audience get visuals on what people experienced. Films also help the audience determine who are the bad guys, so is there really harm with having the offenders recognized as the antagonist. The criminal will always be remembered with hatred or stupidity instead of the glory they wanted.

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    Often with horrific events, there are mass victims and they are bundled up together as one identity instead of being acknowledged as individuals. For example, the Holocaust has many films made about it and they have footage of lifeless bodies or a pile of bodies, which takes away the soul and individualism of each victim. Memorials help add a face to the victims and is a form to pay respect to them. Therefore, memorials are created for the victims and not for the perpetrators. We should acknowledge that tragic events occurred, but we do not need to address the culprits, only what the victims endured.

The Search for a Topic

The spring quarter for Humanities Core has begun and the first topic of discussion is race. Race is a very broad and confusing topic but has caused me to start researching racism events in the United States. The search for a topic for my research paper has been my motivation to write about a certain racist or dehumanizing event in the United States. I have decided to focus around the civil rights movement of the 60s – 70s because that to me is the most interesting part of United States history.

The civil rights movements occurred because the minorities were being negatively affected by the United States Empire and the movements were a way for progression to begin. Of the many movements that occurred during the 60s, I will be focusing on the Chicano Movement. This movement is closer to home for me because I am a daughter of Mexican immigrant parents that work in the fields. Of course, my parents are privileged to be treated with some decency because of Ceasar Chavez’s movement, which caused better working conditions in the fields.

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For my research, I will dive into the timeline of the movement to what sparked it and what came out of it. I have contacted the union that Cesar Chavez created and asked if it is possible to interview either a field worker or a union person that lived during the time of the movement. Fortunately, the Union provided me with a field worker that came through the Bracero Program in the ’60s. The Bracero Program is a system used by farmers to hire immigrants to work on the fields seasonally in the United States. I have not interviewed this individual yet, but will next week with an old union worker. This Union worker was part of the movement as a teenager and saw Cesar Chavez as a father figure. I have gathered this information from the Union caller that referred me to the field worker.

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As a film and media student, I am going to ask permission to produce a multimedia project for both assignments. The possibility of creating a short film for the oral history project of Humanities Core has motivated me to put in a lot more effort into the class cause it actually interests me. Unlike the past Humanities Core papers that bored me and had very little effort put into them, I will produce an eye-catching film. I am thinking of including clips and audio of the interview and animations of what occurred in the past. I will need to keep everything relevant to the prompt and keep the focus of Humanities Core elements. For the research paper instead of writing 8-11 pages, I would like to film a 20 minute or more documentary revolving around my chosen artifact. This chosen artifact will have to correlate with the Chicano movement, which I am still in the search for.

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Maybe while I am doing my interview I can ask the individuals what aspect or artifact I should focus on for the research project. I am very excited to see what I will attain from these projects and how much I am learning about my culture’s past.


Isle of Dogs, a U.S Reality

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   Imperialism: a policy of extending a country’s power and influence through diplomacy or military force. In the stop-motion animated film, Isle of dogs, Mayor Kobayashi is strongly against dogs and sends every dog to Trash Island. He sends his nephew Atari’s beloved dog, Spots, but Atari travels to Trash Island to rescue his best friend. Throughout the film, it follows the journey of Atari in search of Spots and a second plot of dog lovers fighting for the return of their pets. These dog lovers have a small political party known as the Science party, and the majority of the supporters are the younger generation. I wrote imperialism because this movie contains imperialistic actions done by the government, Mayor Kobayashi. This movie relates to the current United States Government and society because the youth are more current with the times and the older generation is not as involved with the new wave of technology and information.

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    The movie begins by telling the history of the Kobayashi family, who are cat lovers that waged war against dogs, but the dogs were saved from a boy warrior. Dogs lived in peace with humans until the breakout of canine influenza, which was contagious and led to the removal of dogs from the city of Megasaki. While the dogs suffer Mayor Kobayashi is doing nothing to save the dogs, but the scientist party is working for a cure and the adolescents are cracking down on theories that Kobayashi is trying to kill dogs. To me, it seems like the older generation who grew up in the war against dogs is pleased with the disappearance of them and are in favor of the re-election of Kobayashi. Even though the leader of the scientist party, Professor Watanabe, has found a cure for canine influenza, Kobayashi does not lift the ban against dogs. This is similar to the U.S Government, for example, scientist keep discovering new information and evidence of global warming, but the U.S leaders refuse to acknowledge it because they think they know more since they’re older.

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    Mayor Kobayashi uses imperialistic tactics to murder Professor Watanabe after putting him under house arrest to avoid spreading the news of the cure. He sends his men to destroy his lab and research. Kobayashi also sends troops with artillery to retrieve his nephew by force from Trash Island. A young protestor, Tracy, discovers that Watanabe created a cure after confronting a scientist who worked with the Professor and rallies other dog lovers to fight against Kobayashi’s re-election. Atari, still on trash island, finds spots and hears horrible news that his uncle has gathered all the dogs in a compound and plans to finally put an end to dogs on his re-election night. Atari works with Spots and other dogs to create a boat and travel back to Megasaki to confront his uncle. Kobayashi’s actions are similar to oil companies bribing Government scientist to release false information on climate change by stating it is imaginary. Or how the NRA “donates,” money to politicians to vote in favor of guns. The Government is undermining the youth by not accepting change or realizing the faults in their actions.

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    Finally, both Tracy and Atari make an entrance to Kobayashi’s reelection night and confront him about all the horrible things he has done, With much shame and loss of honor Kobayashi decides not to kill the dogs and approve the cure. Kobayashi is jailed for the murder of Professor Watanabe and Atari becomes the new Mayor of Megasaki, where dogs and humans leave in peace again. Unfortunately, this is not similar to the United States because the Government fails to recognize their mistakes and tries to suppress any politician with new ideas.

Work Cited

Gen Z: Like Millennials, Progressive on Climate


Rape Culture

Encounters on sexual assault are never taken seriously in this male-dominated world and its victims are silenced. It can be seen today in schools or workplaces that females are told not to worry, or not to make a big deal out of things when their personal space had been burst. In The Tempest, Shakespeare wrote that Caliban attempted to rape Miranda when they arrived on the island. In Act 1, Scene 2, Prospero’s claims, “…till thou didst seek to violate the honor of my child,” indicating that Caliban was trying to sexual assault and probably rap her. When our lecture professor spoke about the incident in lecture dismissed the attempt of rape and seem to avoid to talk about the event in the play. Later my seminar professor addressed the event and clarified that Caliban was probably trying to rape Miranda.

This was just one of the many examples that in today’s society any victim of harassment or sexual assault is suppressed or not taken seriously. We live in a society of rape culture, where sexual violence is normalized and excused in media. Recently Hollywood stars have exposed many elite people in the industry for sexual assault on women working in Hollywood. Once the celebrities started coming out on their attack the public began to notice. Actors were exposing their attackers on National television, in award shows, and on social media. Soon people began to feel more comfortable with telling their sexual assault experiences and the media started to actually write about sexual violence.

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Harvey Weinstein is an example of a man taking advantage of his position to expose young females. He has mentioned that his past behavior has caused pain, but still denies any wrongdoings. Rose Mcgowan is the most vocal of the accusers and denied a one million nondisclosure settlement with Weinstein to publicly display her assault. This action would lead to waves of actresses confronting their sexual assault experiences and lifting the silence. Big stars like Salma Hayek have come forth with their encounter with Weinstein.

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Often when a victim does speak out about their incidents they are victim blamed, where other distant themselves from the victim saying, “It won’t happen to me because I’m not like them.”  In order to prevent rape culture, people need to avoid using language that objectifies any gender. If one does hear an offensive joke it is always okay to speak up and confront the person. Also, defining one’s own manhood and womanhood allows for growth within oneself, where you don’t let stereotypes shape how you are. I think more public areas should acknowledge rape or sexual assaults and not pushed aside like my English professor did with Miranda’s assault. Caliban persuades Stephano and Trinculo to attack Prospero by objectifying Miranda and saying, “she will become thy bed and bring thee forth a brave brood.” He is already seen as disgusting in the play, but the more we know about his actions with Miranda adds to the audience’s hatred towards Caliban.


Indigenous Suppression in Latin America

Growing up in a Mexican household I watched the daily soap operas with my mother. As I grew up I began to notice that the majority of the main cast on the shows had more European heritage that indigenous. The actors were lighter skinned and the only time that darker-skinned actors were on the show they were the help, such as maids or nannies. The media puts more indigenous Hispanics in the background of shows and keeps placing light-skinned Hispanics as the cover of media. Latin America for centuries has been suppressing their native side and has only prioritized their Spaniard blood. When the Spaniards invaded indigenous empires, like the Inca and Aztec they demanded control over their government. This was the start of centuries of discrimination and suppression in Latin American countries.

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In Mexico, today lighter skinned is favored over indigenous looks, where 30 percent of dark-skinned people live in poverty or never finished elementary. Having a darker complexion is a disadvantage when it comes to looking for jobs in Mexico because the majority of the country is influenced by the media on how European features are favored. Even in the 18th-century indigenous people were being pressured to appear more Spaniard and Inca descendants would have portraits painted of themselves trying to be more Spaniard.

Detail from the portrait of Don Marcos Chiquan, c. 1745

Although Latin America and many other nations have to deal with their discrimination towards indigenous people, Mexico has begun in 2019. Actress Yalitza Aparico has made history by appearing on the cover of Vogue Mexico that is light skinned dominated. She is proud to represent her people and wants everyone to know that indigenous people should also be considered in media. Mexico’s new president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has also promised to help indigenous people out of poverty and focus on their communities.

Living in the 21st century, I can be grateful for living in a somewhat open-minded community, but there are still many issues on racism that need to be fixed. I want to learn more about my heritage and want to address the negativity surrounding a darker skin color in my culture of Latin America.


Crossing Borders

The United States border was recently closed because of immigrants trying to enter the States for shelter. They were treated like animals by border control and chased away with pepper mace and rubber bullets. Central Americans wanted a peaceful entrance into the country and only wanted to seek asylum from the wars breaking out within their countries. The immigrants faced the same situation as Anzaldúa in Borderlands because they felt the rejection from society. Watching the country I was born in deny access to Latinos brought me pain since I am Latina. If my country won’t accept Hispanics from the outside, they probably don’t accept them on the inside.

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Only those that are like me know the struggle of being born in a country where your people are not accepted. Especially in this political climate where our President is very outspoken on his views on immigration. I can see how they would think borders protect our country, but we need to help those that are struggling outside of our borders. If they want to become Americans we should allow them to as long as they have no felonies and are willing to abide by the American laws. The United States is known for being the melting pot of the world for a reason and Latinos are a necessity for diversity.

Growing up in California I did not feel any discrimination, but other Hispanics are hated on in other parts of the country. I have an uncle in Nebraska who had coffee thrown at him and was told to, “go back to your country!” My uncle was not born in the United States, but he is a resident and wants to become a citizen so he can get into politics.

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I have heard stories from undocumented people and their experiences crossing the border. The most gruesome experience in which I have heard from is from a Houndrous immigrant who lost the majority of their limbs due to, la Bestia, a train that enters Northern America. The train is jumped on by thousands, but only a few hundred make it to the end of the trip. I had a family friend once cross with the cartel and had to withstand beatings from the drug dealers. They have a child and wife to go back home to and risked their life just to reach America. What people don’t understand is that if you are willing to risk your life for a better living situation you should be allowed peacefully into the country. When people ask why they want to enter the United States it is because their countries do not have freedom of speech.

In Borderlands they mention, “…stripping Indians and Mexicans from their land while their feet were still rooted in it.” The Americans stole land from the Native Americans and claimed it there and also booted Mexicans out of California when their homes were there. The government is still separating families and deporting them to countries where they have very little memories of. I hope our Nation realizes the harm they are causing to the Latino community.


Estocada a La Bestia como transporte de migrantes


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In the novel, Waiting for the barbarians by J.M Coetzee, the barbarians are the Easterners of orientalism and the Magistrate’s empire are the Westerners. The Magistrate did not see the barbarian girl’s home as a civil society and tried to save her from the barbarians civilization. In Said’s book of The Orientalist, he describes how the Western side of the globe views the Eastern side as uncivilized or savages, which is how Coetzee’s characters view the barbarians. Middle Easterns are civilized people and have their own traditions that may differ from that of a European, but who has the right to decided who is better than the other.

This reminds me of a recent incident that I read on the news. Where an American missionary paid a fisherman to give him a lift to the very restricted island in the Bay Bengal. His goal was to educate the isolated Sentinelese tribe on Christianity, which was a very idiotic move. Mostly because this tribe kills anyone that goes near the island and the tribe did not need to learn the ways of the Christian religion. This news relates to Coetzee’s novel because the Magistrate tried to take in the barbarian girl, even though she did not need his help and only wanted to return to his people. In some situations helping others is useful, but you can’t rush evolution because civilizations have to adjust to the times. Some third world counties are still in the industrialization stage and they are not uncivilized, but progressing on their own.

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The American Missionary on the right and Sentinelese tribe members on the left.

In my anthropology class, I learned one of the theories in sociocultural evolution where each civilization is evolving on their own time and will soon all be at the same level of technology. Therefore, no one can assume that a civilization is primitive or not because they are progressing at their own rate.

What does one think when they hear the work savages or barbarians? I think of murders, but in Waiting for the Barbarians it is used to describe foreigners because the novel is anti-representation and never mentions a specific time period of location. The fact that they are using a nasty term such as, barbarians, to describe people that do not have the same customs as them is judgmental and discriminatory. The word barbarian has changed over time, in the Roman time the Romans adopted the word to describe anyone that is not apart of the Roman Empire. They were excluding all other culture and traditions and placing their civilization over others. This reminds me of Hitler during World War two because he tried to place the Aryan race over all other races and ignored all other tradition. Hitler committed Jew genocide and tried to make Christianity as the only religion on earth when the world has thousands of beliefs that anyone can follow. I believe each nation should be left to mind their own business and others should only interfere if they are causing harm to other nations or are asking for help.



‘You guys might think I’m crazy’: US missionary killed by tribe on remote island

Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M Coetzee


The Ruin Called Nature

Oxford dictionary defines ruins as, “The physical destruction or disintegration of something or the state of disintegrating or being destroyed.” When one typically thinks about a ruin they think buildings, but would nature count as a ruin? A ruin gets physical destruction and nature is constantly being destroyed. One can argue that nature would not count as a ruin because it wasn’t built by humans or didn’t have a significant meaning. However, nature is created by the environment and the animals have an attachment to it because it’s their home. Us humans are destroying nature and soon the earth will be seen as a ruin. With all the pollution entering the atmosphere and oceans, there will soon be very little nature to admire. Already the beautiful Amazon Rainforest is beginning to be placed in the ruins category because of the mass destruction of trees for lumber. Endangered species such as the Macaw are experiencing the pain the follows ruins.

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The feeling of being lost is what I feel when I look at ruins because there use to be a story and purpose for that specific area, but then it became destroyed. Sometimes it’s the story that contributes to the feeling, other times its the after visual that gets one upset. When I look at the burnt mountainsides after the Ventura fires on the 101 I felt grief because ecosystems were destroyed and an excessive amount of carbon entered the atmosphere. To make the scene worse, there were animal carcasses splattered on the freeway from all the animals trying to escape the flames, only to be met by the destructive human vehicles on the other side. Today the ruins of the fires can be seen and it will remain there until nature decides to repurpose the damage for other ecosystems.

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The ocean is the biggest ruin on earth because of all the damage it contains. Although, it is still a working, “structure,” that contains living organisms it has lost many parts of its foundation due to pollution and overfishing. When fishing boats catch large quantities of fish mostly use a bottom trawling, which rakes up the bottom of the ocean floor and annihilates habitats. Not only does it damage the ecosystems, but it also picks up unnecessary marine life. The Great Barrier Reef is also becoming part of the oceans ruins because the colorful corals are beginning to bleach from the oceans unbalanced ph. Sooner or later the Great Barrier Reef will only have its washed out shell to show that life used to be inhabited there.

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Ruins like the Roman Colosseum are the most known because they have history and background information. Nature’s ruins can also have context and background such as the fallen tree in my childhood home. It was my play tree where I would climb and create a swing on, but tragically it tipped over during a bad storm. The tree to me has a significant meaning because I was attached to it, but anyone else will view it as trash. The tree is now a ruin that was created from a seed that went through the process of photosynthesis to grow into decent height so my child self could play. I want everyone to realize that nature is like a museum that should be respected and protected. That way it can live on for millions of more years and future generations will not have to witness the ruin called nature.

Don Corleone’s Empire

Thanks for joining me!

“I’m going to give him an offer he can’t refuse.” – Don Vito Corleone

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The best movie ever made, in my opinion, is The Godfather. This movie tells the struggle and business of the Corleone family. The Corleone family is the strongest New York family and they basically rule New York. Essentially the city is their empire and they are just trying to avoid war in their empire by pleasing or negotiating with the other head families of New York.

Don Corleone, also known as the Don, is the emperor and he has the final say in what occurs in the family. Just like empires, there are other leaders that advise and control the empire, which is his council of chosen leaders. Sunny, Don Corleone’s eldest son, is expected to take the throne as the Don, but when he is murdered by another New York family Micheal takes the title as the new Don. What always bothered me was the fact that Don Corleone’s youngest child, Connie Corleone, never got a job in the family’s business because of her gender as a female, which is seen as weak in the ’60s. What would have happened if Connie was chosen as the new Don instead of Micheal? The possibility of being able to see a woman in charge of the crime would have been interesting.

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The Godfather’s empire was a corrupt empire that revolved around murder and hustling the law. Although, Micheal towards the end of the movie wants to get rid of the old ways of killing and move into the gambling business. Unfortunately, Micheal murdered Mo Green, a casino owner, in order to have his own casino. Every form of empire has its own corruption from my personal experience with law enforcement in third world countries it is really easy to pay off a cop and not get in trouble. Don Corleone has his own corrupt ways because he has politicians and law enforcement on his payroll to keep them quite or to make them do his dirty work. His empire runs on trust and loyalty, while other empires run on laws. The Coreleon motto was a favor for another favor. The favors were never asked after the deed was done, but the people knew they were in debt with the Don. When Don Corleone sent Tom to Los Angeles to get Johnny the lead role in the movie, Tom killed the director’s favorite horse and got Johnny the lead role in the movie. Johnny knew he owes the Don in some way but is not asked until years later when Micheal asks him to perform in the casino yearly and to sign a contract.

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My humanities core class has taught me a lot about empires specifically Roman Empires and now I know how to apply their structures to other modern systems, such as situations in The Godfather. From watching the movie I know that when any leader has to make a difficult decision its always business and never personal. I obviously would never kill anyone over a business decision like the Don, but I will sacrifice a friendship for a better outcome in a situation.

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