The Invisible War

The rape epidemic within the military is not state-sponsored because the acts of rape were committed by individuals on their own accord. The military did not specifically order or require the perpetuaters to target a specific person and commit rape. The military oversees thousands of soldiers in many different branches, and are not able to closely keep an eye of every soldier under their wing. It is the responsibility of each and every soldier to protect one another and failure to do so is his/her own fault. The military cannot control an individual’s thoughts, decisions, and actions; therefore, to label the rape epidemic as an all state-sponsored issue is unfair to the military.

However, the military is not completely innocent because they play a large part in being the sponsors of the military rape epidemic as well. The Invisible War revealed that a lot of the acts were committed by fellow trainees, soldiers, and friends however, a large number of the cases claimed that their seniors and commanding officers have also done the same horrible crime. The very people that should be protecting the victimized soldiers are the very same people that commit the crime. The military is responsible for the well-being and justice for its soldiers when a crime is acted upon them, yet time and time again the corrupt system chooses to slide the cases under the rug which allows the cycle of rape to continue. Their choice of not acting upon the cases of rape is what perpetuates the cycle, making the military rape epidemic a state-sponsored issue.

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5 Questions

1. Where were you born?
2. In what ways have you/someone you know have experienced oppression?
3. How did you feel upon witnessing it?
4. Have you ever intentionally/unintentionally been discriminate? How so?
5. Do you believe that discrimination/oppression against non-whites and/or whites has worsened or improved in the American society today?

Personal Inventory

Intersectionality:
The study of how social and cultural topics of race, gender, orientation, and class lead and/or determine social inequality.

The slightest signs of racism and orientation oppression is everywhere I go, everywhere I’ve went, and probably wherever I will go. There are times when I’m the one saying the comment, and whether I realize what I’m saying or not, it doesn’t change the fact that the though came through my head.
Living in Waukegan, where Latinos are the majority, I had to go to the elementary & junior high schools. Mostly in junior high, that’s where I was mostly exposed to the racist and derogatory comments between Latinos, African-Americans, Asians, and White-Americans. Most, if not all White-Americans were called “white trash”. African-Americans were told to take a shower; Latinos were called “wet-backs”. Asians were always stereotyped as smart and nerdy, which where I fell under. However, looking back to it, I dont remember feeling bad about those comments as I do now. I’ve had my fair share of those comments, but I never said it out loud. It was always just in my head because I was afraid that if I said those things to them that I would be beaten up on my way home.

“Rights in Conflict” & “The Chicago Democratic Convention”

The protest against the Chicago Convention devolved into a “police riot” because as the authorities began to try to clear the city of the protestors, violence erupted when protestors refused to leave and the police resorted to beatings. When the beatings against the protestors became more violent, the protestors began fighting back and resulted in a mass police-protestor war that badly injured a lot of people. Because of the unnecessary beatings and clear disapproval of protests against the Chicago Convention, protestors grew to be more violent as they fought against the war.

5 Harkness Questions

1. What did America gain in giving military aid to the Vietnamese?

2. If so, was it worth the countless deaths of Americans?

3. Where and how should the boundaries in involvement in wars be set?

4. The Civil Rights Movement was going on around the same time, shouldn’t America have been more concerned and focused on homeland problems rather than international affairs?

5. Regarding #4 question, if given the choice, what fight would you have focused on? Why?

Americans on the Vietnam War (late 1960s-early 1970s)

More and more Americans began to oppose America’s involvement with the Vietnam War when American soldiers themselves began to share their experiences in the war. When veterans admitted to committing war crimes in Southeast Asia such as rape, mutilation, shooting, and bombing, it painted a barbaric picture to America. These war crimes did not reflect what it meant to be American; it reflected what it meant to be a savage. When the story of My Lai surfaced to the public, the country’s anti-war spirits could’ve only escalated. With an estimated of 370 people–men, women, children, and babies–shot dead in one day in the village of My Lai, the truth couldn’t have sat well with many Americans. America was not supposed to be a country full of murderers but a land full of helpers, yet the story of My Lai and of veterans said otherwise. Because of that, many Americans began to strongly oppose the war.

Eyes On The Prize

The Black Panther Party, founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, was an organization whose goal, like former reform leaders such as ML King and Malcom X, was to gain the freedom from racist oppression given by the white people to the black community. Though different from ML King’s approach of non-violent, the Black Panther’s somewhat violent tactic seemed to have made impression on the 1960s society. They were a dynamic group of African Americans whose call for a long awaited revolution screamed “by any means necessary, even guns”.

Fred Hampton, a former NAACP Youth Organizer, was the chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party in Chicago. While the FBI sought to discredit him by claiming he used drugs, etc., they found no valid evidence that would back up their stories. On of the most influential Black Panthers members, he was described as a 21 yr old man whose words could not not move a person. During an FBI raid in Hampton’s apartment, he and Mark Clark, another leader, were shot dead.

COINTELPRO was a counterintelligence program of the FBI that emerged after political activists broke into the FBI and stole FBI operations against US Citizens and Civil Rights organizations.