Thursday, April 16, 2015

R&J Current Event #1

A turf war broke out between two feuding crews from different housing projects, Marcy and Tompkin, which ended up with a then fourteen-year-old named Kahton Anderson shooting and killing a father of two. In that section of the city, even though people didn't belong to the two separate projects, they still took sides and created names for themselves. The Tompkin side, which sided with Anderson, called themselves the Stack Money Goons. The people who sided with Marcy were the Twan Family. Apparently, the feud had been going on for generations and Anderson had been born into it, even being shot at by the Twan family when he was visiting his grandmother, after walking on Twan family "territory". After he was arrested and put into the patrol car, Anderson asked, "Who did I hit? Was it an innocent or a rival? Why didn't I just go home? It's war out there." Anderson is currently being charged as an adult with murder in the second degree.

I felt like this related to Romeo and Juliet immensely. Some of the reasons are obvious. The two different sides, or "houses", are incredibly violent and hostile  to each other, to the point where a fourteen-year-old becomes a murderer. Like Shakespeare said in the introduction to Romeo and Juliet, "where civil blood makes civil hands unclean." The fact that this feud has lasted generations and really asks the question if long-term feuds can buried. How much will it take for them to make peace with each other? A kid is being charged with murder as an adult, and yet there is no statement that one side has backed down or that peace has been made. How many more people will have to die before they finally stop fighting?

It also raised questions about justice and parenting. What causes differences between one person’s justice and another’s injustice? What, indeed, is “justice”? Is it justice to put Anderson to jail, or is that not enough punishment? Do the Stack Money Goons believe that Anderson shouldn't be punished at all, because he was defending himself in a turf war? Do the Twan family believe he deserves death? Which is more correct? What you think Anderson deserves depends from where you look at it. As for parenting, this feud has been passed down for generations. That must mean that parents have taught their children to hate the Twan family, or the Stack Money Goons, and to react violently when they see them, whether they meant to or not. Whatever this feud is based off of, it's been continued and taught for years.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Learning From the Constitution

In the process of analyzing and critically examining the Constitution, I learned some things about how I learn and process information. When I had to choose one of three positions on the Constitution, I found I understood things better when I discussed it with other people. Verbally expressing my ideas and what I understand, and hearing how other people interpreted the information, really helped me understand the information further. By agreeing, and disagreeing, with people, it's easier to find a position to take and understand the reasons behind that. I think that this is why I like to debate so much; by physically having a discussion with someone with an opposing or different view, I find myself walking out of the debate feeling like I understand the concept much better. I can apply this to science, English, and Portuguese.